Craft Alliance (CA) was recently awarded a $40,000 grant from the Monsanto Fund.
Artsmarts is an outreach program that fills a void in urban schools with under-funded arts curriculums. Students engage in hands-on education in ceramics, metalsmithing, glass, fiber art and graphic art, which helps promote creative problem solving and spatial reasoning skills unique to the craft disciplines. With the aid of this grant, ArtSmarts continues to awaken in students a new awareness and interest in the world in which they live.
"We are thrilled to receive this important support from the Monsanto Fund," said Craft Alliance's Executive Director Boo McLoughlin. "The $40,000 grant allows us to bring the ArtSmarts program to students who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to have an in-depth visual art experience. They will be able to explore our innovative exhibitions on three different occasions and have the opportunity to bring into practice what they saw and learned in our specialized studios."
The SLPS art teachers who have participated have all been extremely enthusiastic about the benefit of ArtSmarts for their students.
“The studio workshops were enormously beneficial for our children," said Bill Perry, an art teacher at Central Visual and Performing Arts. "They gave our students priceless exposure to hands on experience with materials and techniques unavailable in a normal art classroom. Our experience with Craft Alliance was outstanding. The workshops were presented with expertise, attentiveness and humor. Every student involved expressed enthusiasm and enjoyment, and we could see, in the students’ subsequent vocabulary and use of art concepts, the deep and positive effect participation in these events had on our children.“
Craft Alliance is the only art institution dedicated to contemporary craft in the St. Louis region. The non-profit organization, located in the Delmar Loop and in the Kranzberg Arts Center in Grand Center, provides inspiration and education in contemporary craft to a national community of artists, collectors, students and the art-viewing public.