We talk constantly about what's missing in education, areas where we fall short, and a persistent lack of community involvement, specifically regarding youth and the arts. Today, two organizations give us cause to do the opposite. Let's celebrate that and take a look at what our neighbors are doing to bolster youth creativity. Also, let's lend a hand.
This Saturday your kids can participate in Art Love Magic's outreach program for local youth. Children ages 6 to 16 are invited to spend the afternoon with Dallas' best and kindest-hearted artists. Together, they'll create. What will they make? Masterpieces, exclusively. They can collaborate on mural production or allow themselves time for introspection by composing their art solo; it's totally up to the kids. The space is designed to inspire: by allowing an "open studio environment" Art Love Magic draws children away from rigid structure and other confinements associated to classwork. Here, they are in charge.
Supplies galore are provided by the do-gooder organization which has made a name for itself through outreach programs like this one, as well as large-scale immersion art experiences like Underground and the BuzzBrews-based series, Art and Coffee.
Visual arts are not forced to exist alone on Saturday: local DJs will donate both their time and turntables to the affair. Does your child have mad flow? Can she drop a beat? Scratch a hook? She'll find out during this class of verbal self-expression. Again, this whole program is free. Parents are required to stick around, but with this much adorable self-expression occurring it would be impossible to leave anyway. ALM's Kid Workshop runs from noon to 4 p.m. at 2803 Taylor Street, right here in Dallas.
The volunteer registration deadline for Girls Rock Camp Dallas is this Thursday, so if you have a single creative bone in your body, get involved. I can't say enough about what these camps instill in the young ladies who attend. You cheer along with them and revel in each girl's success, and when that final concert rolls around you will cry. (Even you, massive backyard wrestling door guy. You aren't safe from their empowered charms.) Don't think your lack of musical ability or your gender rules you out. Everyone's welcome. This is a movement, after all. Maybe you've written zines and want to lead a workshop? Maybe you take really great band photos or know how to silk screen? Maybe you're highly organized and good with kids? All types are needed.
Let's all pitch in and support these organizations who are leading the way. It's all happening this week. I'll see you there.