With the arts being cut in public schools, Roz Knight says it is up to the community to pick up the slack.
Knight is president of City of the World, a nonprofit art gallery at 1229 S. Casino Center Blvd., and she created the Artz-to-Go program.
“I dreamed up this idea of getting three buses, filling them with art supplies, books and teachers,” she said. “(They) go around to different parks, ring the bell, and anyone in the community can come make free art and get a free book.”
The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada donated three buses to help with the project, which Knight said will cost about $65,000 to run year-round. About $8,000 has been raised so far, and City of the World is accepting donations to keep it going beyond summer.
To see a video about the program or to donate, visit indiegogo.com/projects/artz-to-go.
Buses are scheduled to travel to three locations: Freedom Park, 850 N. Mojave Road; Lorenzi Park, 3333 W. Washington Ave.; and Justice Myron E. Leavitt and Jaycee Community Park, near Eastern and St Louis avenues. The Stupak Community Center, 251 W. Boston Ave., is also set to host art classes. Classes are scheduled from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Monday through Thursday at the four locations.
For more information, visit cityoftheworld.org.
Knight said she hopes to keep the program going on Saturdays throughout the school year and take the buses to events or festivals, too.
“We’re hoping that people will learn how to find something inside them rather than being bored and watching TV or playing video games all day,” Knight said. “Arts build self-esteem. We need creating in the U.S. today; we’re not using our brains enough.”
Off-duty Clark County School District art teachers are set to lead the classes, which will teach a different type of art every week. During its inaugural week beginning July 15, kids learned to make collages. Other art mediums to be covered include weaving, greeting cards and canvas painting.
With art classes seemingly always on the chopping block, this program is “important to have right now,” said CCSD substitute teacher and City of the World board member Ashia McReynolds.
“Our children in the community need ways to express themselves (and) develop their talents,” she said. “You see how talented these children are in the arts. They need it.”
Contact View education reporter Jeff Mosier at email@example.com or 702-224-5524.