By Joseph Pratt
An art show to support education funding in Greenup and Boyd counties, in Kentucky, will feature donated pieces from local students on Thursday, May 15.
Anne Stephens, extension agent for fine arts in Greenup and Boyd counties, said students in grades pre-K through high school have created original pieces to be shown in a public auction, but the ultimate allocation of the money raised is unknown for now. The money will be used to fund Area Education Grants (AEG), a non-profit organization that supports mini-grants for Boyd and Greenup schools.
Stephens said the grants do not have to go to fine arts classrooms, but can be used to benefit all areas of study.
“So, when students donate the art pieces for auction, they are using their time and talent to benefit local education in a broad sense,” Stephens said.
Stephens said it is important for students to understand the economic impact their talents can make in their communities.
“We need students to understand they are contributing to their community monetarily by contributing their artwork,” Stephens said. “Economic impact can be made by donating or volunteering time. Honing a skill has a value, and so if we have a kid interested in art, we want them to continue with that and realize they can make a real difference in their community.”
Sarah Diamond Burroway and Stephens will co-chair the fundraiser. Burroway said though this is the first time hosting the art show and auction, they hope to make it an annual event. AEG has been giving grants to teachers since 1983 in order to support innovative work that promotes student learning. Stephens said the application process for AEG funds is competitive and it plans to give out around seven grants this year.
“The event gives AEG the opportunity to showcase the artwork of our students while also giving them a role in helping raise funds for the classroom grants,” Burroway said.
Russell High School sophomore and saxophonist Isaac Stephens will be donating his time playing jazz at the event, as well. Some of the artwork to be featured at the event includes 3-D collages from fourth and fifth graders at Summit Elementary, sculptures from Verity Middle School students and multimedia mixed art and African masks created by primary students at Campbell Elementary.
The fundraiser is the first of its kind for AEG and will take place from 5 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, May 17 at the Bellefonte Pavillion in Ashland, Ky. It is free and open to the public, the only costs being the price of artworks.
“The funds raised by the art auction will support innovative classroom projects by teachers to extend learning beyond the regular budget,” Burroway explained. “The creativity and resourcefulness of our teachers is what it’s all about. Sometimes students just need different ways of learning. I’ve been working with AEG for five years and ever year I’m amazed by the variety and innovation of our students and these projects.”
Joseph Pratt can be reached at the Portsmouth Daily Times 740-353-3101, EXT 287, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.