Since the fall of 2011, Arts for Learning has partnered with the Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Affairs’ All Kids Included program to bring inclusive arts programs to parks across the county. This program provides free socially engaging classes for students and familes of all abilities. Below, A4L Teaching Artist Bess Perry writes about her first weeks with the program.
As a new artist to Arts for Learning, I was extremely excited when I learned that I would be working with Youth Arts in the Parks, part of All Kids Included, at Camp Matecumbe. I had the opportunity to assist guest artist Dwayne Szot for the first class at the camp. The groups of children were full of excitement and anticipation at seeing the large scale, collaborative artwork that they would create in the gymnasium of the camp. The tools that were employed by Dwayne Szot made it possible for every child, regardless of disability, to create their own unique printmaking design. Seeing the creative process was an enlightening experience. Children in wheel chairs were able to create designs with the same process as other children. Despite physical disabilities or learning disorders such as autism, each child participated in creating a beautiful collaborative piece.
During the second session, the other resident artists and I started working with the students on individual projects that will be featured in our culminating event on December 22nd. Camp Matecumbe is such a beautiful and refreshing venue for the Youth Arts in the Park – All Kids Included program. The Youth Arts in the Parks program allows children and families to take break from the hectic energy of the city and of the week and unwind while interacting and creating artwork.
As the sessions continue, I look forward to further engaging the students and seeing their creativity expand.