Allied Arts of Whatcom County

Grant Recipient

Allied Arts of Whatcom County is a new partner organization for the Foundation this year. With over 39 years in operation and 400+ members, Allied Arts of Whatcom County has a long history and proven track record of serving the community in and through the arts. As an anchor for the arts community, their vision is to enliven and promote the artistic identity within their community and make their region an artistic, creative, and vibrant place to live. They achieve their vision through four types of programming annually:

Education – over 8,000 Whatcom County youth are given the tools to become creative citizens;

Events – to celebrate the arts community and encourage public participation in classes, presentations and four community festivals;

Exhibits – to promote community gatherings and artwork through monthly exhibits in four venues;

Awareness – raising awareness about their unique community through community involvement, advocacy, marketing and opportunities. We are proud supporters of their arts education programming – specifically their 5th Grade Intensive Art Program – which will serve all of the fifth grade students in 34 Bellingham Schools. The priorities of this program are: students gain essential art skills through standards-based curricula and equal access to the arts; teachers and teaching artists gain skills to improve the development of engaging, standards-based arts curricula that use effective arts assessments to measure student progress; community partnerships are strengthened; sustainability of arts education efforts are increased through arts advocacy and the development of invested local supporters and funders; and to increase awareness of different cultures and teach children multiple perspectives.

Quote from Teaching Artist Ellen Clark:
“Through my experience working in the public schools I see how important it is to give children choices about what they create. Self-esteem develops from discovering they have a voice in their creative learning accomplishments. With so many subjects being taught, art provides imaginative relief and a chance to stretch their learning capabilities.”

Quote from Teaching Artist Deanna Fletcher after her improve session:
“I saw students thrive who had always been considered “too much” for their classroom energetically-speaking. Suddenly, their energy and emotion had an outlet, and their expressiveness was more than appropriate, it was welcome and encouraged. I also saw students considered “quiet” really come out of their shell and surprise everyone with how animated they could be. I saw students’ confidence increase as they grew more sure of their own creative voices. Students worked together in new ways, having to follow and mirror each other’s movements, read each other’s body language, take and give cues. They surprised each other and made each other laugh with delight; every grade, every class.”

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