Arts-Kids is holding an online auction
Pat Drewry Sanger founded an after-school art class called Arts-Kids in 1999.
The goal was to help children express themselves through art.
"We aren’t really an arts program, but a youth development program that uses the arts music, drama, movement and visual arts as a tool to encourage self-expression and to build problem-solving and communication skills," Drewry Sanger said during an interview with The Park Record. "It’s not a therapy program, although it is therapeutic. We select areas where the need is greatest. The program is designed to bring kids from different backgrounds together to promote empathy and understanding and to get them working together in a global community."
The classes include children from all different backgrounds and includes students diagnosed with autism, Drewry Sanger said.
"The students who participate are chosen by the school counselors, and parents and children can ask to be in the program," she said. "We have up to 18 to 20 kids, ages eight through 18, in a group. The groups meet eight to 10 weeks."
As is the case of other worthwhile programs, Arts-Kids needs money to accomplish its mission, so, it is holding an online auction fundraiser called Bidding for Kids at http://www.arts-kids.org, which will run through July 23, said the organization’s board chairwoman Corinne Humphrey.
"All proceeds will support our programs, and help with our facilitators and professional artists who come hold these sessions for the kids," she said.
Humphrey, an author of two children’s books, is one of the group teachers as well.
"The groups I lead have done book making, painting, drawing and storytelling," she said. "It’s been really fun and the kids are really clever and have come up with some great stories."
The idea to hold an online auction sprouted last March.
"We wanted to try something new and more progressive," Humphrey said. "It takes a lot of manpower to put on a traditional fundraiser event, so we thought we would try an online auction. We thought it would be more fun and exciting."
Bidding online is more convenient in terms of participants, she said.
"If you bid on an item on your own time, and someone else bids on it, you will be notified via email to bid again if you want," Humphrey said. "All you do is go to your website, click on the Bidding for Kids banner and then click on auction updates.
"Also, if you don’t want to bid and just want to purchase an item, there is a ‘buy it now’ button you can click."
Auction items include a South African safari, local restaurant gift certificates, golf packages at Promontory and Red Ledges, ski passes, handy-man services, dog training, spa day passes, sailing on the Great Salt Lake and original artwork by professional artists and students.
"The businesses here who donated the items are so generous and I’m sure they’ve been tapped, especially this time a year, but they have really supported us," Drewry Sanger said. "We also want to thank our sponsors Gallery MAR, the Yard, Mountain West Bank and Paula Swaner."
Other items include memberships to the Kimball Art Center, tickets to Big Stars Bright Nights and Ballet West concerts.
"Our goal is to raise at least $12,000," Drewry Sanger said. "We need the money to be able to fulfill the goals for the fall."
Drewry Sanger, a certified psychiatric nurse, conceived the Arts-Kids idea while working with at-risk children in Norfolk, Va.
"I saw that they were shutting down their emotions at an early age, and I was concerned about the increase of violence in our country, especially by the youth," she said. "So, when I moved to Park City to follow my dream of living in the mountains, I developed a concept of using the arts and group dynamics to enhance youth development and build community."
So far, Arts-Kids is offered in all the Park City elementary schools as well as Treasure Mountain Junior High, Park City High School, South Summit Elementary School and North Summit Elementary and North Summit Middle Schools.
"North Summit elementary doesn’t have a lot of resources and they would like two groups this year and that’s one of our priorities," Drewry Sanger said. "We also have programs in two Wasatch County elementary schools and on the Ute Reservation and we’re looking to get foothold in Salt Lake."
For more information about the Arts-Kids online auction or to bid on an item, visit http://www.arts-kids.org.
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