Park City-based Arts-Kids starts Latino Education Fun Night
Artists interested in learning more or participating in Arts-Kids can contact “Cowboy Ted” Hallisey by calling 435-615-7878 or visiting http://www.arts-kids.org/contact.
Arts-Kids, a local youth-development nonprofit that uses art as a tool to teach children life skills, is seeking Summit County-based artists to share their works, talents and time for a new program that will start at the end of August.
“I would like all kinds of expressive artists to get involved,” said Arts-Kids executive director “Cowboy Ted” Hallisey. “In addition to painting, ceramics or sculpture, I would love to have dancers, actors and musicians – any artists who can help kids feel good about themselves and find their happy places.”
The new program’s working title is Latino Education Fun Night.
Hallisey decided he wanted Arts-Kids to reach out to the local Hispanic and Latino population (which makes up 11 percent of Summit County’s total according a 2017 Census estimate) after his nonprofit, along with Big Brothers, Big Sisters Utah and Holy Cross Ministries, were the finalists for the Park City Community Foundation’s Women’s Giving Fund grant.
“We want to make sure we are serving that part of the population and giving them an outlet,” Hallisey said. “So we want to find artists who are versed in traditional artforms of (Latin-American) countries.”
Although Big Brothers, Big Sisters took home the $33,000 grant, an anonymous donor gifted $5,000 to both Arts-Kids and Holy Cross.
Thanks to the nominations, the three organizations formed a bond and decided to work together, Hallisey said.
“We will collaborate with them to do something for the good of the whole community, because we want to serve all kids in Summit County school programs including preschoolers and middle school students,” Hallisey said. “We want them to express themselves through art, any artform. We want to give them a forum to use their voices and to help them realize they have a voice and (that) kids have more impact on the community than they think.”
Hallisey hopes Latino Education Fun Night, while designed to help children of first-generation immigrants, will help their parents feel a connection with the community.
“When the parents see some of the art, they may remember doing the same kind of art when they were younger, and may want to start to teach others how do create the art and become mentors as well,” Hallisey said. “We want families to come out and play and learn some life skills in a fun way. We want them to feel more comfortable with being here in the community.”
In addition to Latino artists, Hallisey is seeking artists with other backgrounds, including Pacific Islander and Asian cultures.
“We have artists in Park City and Summit County that have different cultural arts backgrounds, and we want to expose kids to these cultures,” Hallisey said.
Moats knows in this day and age of teacher shortages, burnout and turnover that she’s an idealist when she hopes to see an elevation of the standards for teacher knowledge and preparation.
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