Registration opens August 22
budding young artists throughout the community.
(August 8, 2022) Art Center Sarasota (ACS) has launched “Youth Saturdays,” a free arts education initiative aimed at budding young artists 6 to 15 years old. These intensive, three-hour workshops will be taught by a team of dedicated ACS instructors and high school teaching assistants. During each Youth Saturdays session, participants will first learn a new artistic skill—and then use it to create an original work of art. Youth Saturdays classes will be offered every Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. on the ACS campus. The 14-week program extends from September 10 to December 17.
According to Kinsey Robb, Art Center Sarasota’s executive director, this innovative initiative is empowering on many levels. “The free workshops are a logical extension of Art Center Sarasota’s mission to serve our community,” she says. “It’s a great resource for parents to expose their children to the arts. It’s a powerful learning opportunity both for participants and our high school volunteers. After all, the most in-depth way to learn and retain a creative skill is to teach it to someone else.” She adds that the high school teaching assistants receive mentoring and school credits for their time.
Robb notes that Youth Saturdays offers a game-changing model in community arts education. “Youth Saturdays are free for all across the board,” she says. “There’ll be absolutely no financial barriers standing in anyone’s way.”
According to Robb, this innovative, individualized outreach didn’t just happen.
“Donor support made it all possible,” she says. “One of the Center’s ardent supporters, Emilie Wood Robinson, was a major inspiration for this initiative. The impact of her generosity shows what one person can accomplish and our hope is it will inspire others to help ACS continue to create such programs in the future. Philanthropy has a powerful impact on the lives of children. Youth Saturdays are just the most recent example. We hope to offer many more in the years to come.”
In practical terms, what can youthful participants expect?
Jane Harris, ACS’s education director, explains that the workshops will be divided into two groups: Creative Kids (6 to 10 years old) and Emerging Artists (11 to 15 years old). “Our teachers will first create a general lesson plan, and then refine it for their students’ individual needs,” Harris says. “We’ll make sure each workshop helps its participating young artists advance their creative abilities to the fullest.”
According to Harris, class size will be limited to ensure personalized art instruction. Each workshop will be taught by one highly qualified ACS artist instructor. They will be supported by one to two teaching assistants—high school juniors and seniors who receive mentoring and school credits for their time.
Harris adds that these workshops are an investment in the future of these emerging young artists.
“Support is so essential in the early stages of creative development,” she says. “That’s exactly what Youth Saturdays will provide. Our workshops will foster creativity and provide students with foundational art practices. With every lesson they learn, their self-confidence and love of artistic creation will grow.”
Registration for Youth Saturdays will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis on ACS’s website. Harris explains that people without access to the internet will be able to call ACS and a team member will be able to help over the phone. In order to minimize signing up for all 14 weeks at once, ACS will roll out sign-ups on a monthly basis. Guardians will then have the option to register their child for Saturdays offered that month. Once a class hits capacity a waitlist will be initiated. Registration will open on Monday, August 22. For more information, visit www.artsarasota.org or call 941-365-2032.
Youth Saturdays is made possible through the generous support of Emilie Wood Robinson.
At A Quick Glance:
- September: Get in the Mix: This month, young artists will experiment with mixed-media techniques, while learning about contemporary artists who use these techniques, including assemblage, printmaking, painting and collage.
- October: What’s Your Medium? In October, students will have the opportunity to try new mediums in fine art, including printmaking, pastels, acrylic mediums, watercolor and gouache and assemblage.
- November: Oh, The Places You’ll Go! This month, participants will go on a cultural journey through artistic styles. Each student will have the chance to produce art using techniques they may have never used before, while learning about artistic traditions around the world, including South America, Greece, and Japan.
- December: Textile Adventures! In December, students will learn about the fascinating world of textile art and have the chance to dye textiles, weave on looms and even create their own fabric murals.
About Art Center Sarasota
Art Center Sarasota was the first arts and cultural institution in Sarasota. Founded in 1926 as the “Sarasota Art Association” by Marcia Rader, the art supervisor for the Sarasota County schools district, the Association was later incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 1943 and has been in its current location in the Sarasota Bayfront Cultural District since 1949. Art Center Sarasota is a member-supported organization that offers curated and juried exhibitions, adult and youth education programs, outreach initiatives for underserved youth, and culturally related public programming. Art Center Sarasota is admission-free and open to all public; its mission is to inspire individual creative expression, nurture artistic talent and provide the community with accessible and diverse visual art opportunities.
Art Center Sarasota
707 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236
Monday-Friday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday: Noon-5 p.m.