Received Directly from Geraldine Smythe (Abrakadoodle)
Two local art organizations have teamed up to help schools face the challenge of diminishing resources for quality arts education programming. Abrakadoodle Art Education for Children has partnered with Art Alliance Austin this spring to expand the reach of the Art City Austin 2010, a community art celebration where the creative community and those who support it converge to celebrate Austin’s dynamic art scene. Previously known as Laguna Gloria Art Fiesta, Art City Austin takes place in Austin’s flourishing downtown retail and cultural district. Taking place Saturday and Sunday April 24 – 25th, the collaboration will extend the reach of the Festival beyond the weekend events by involving an additional 10,000 local school children, who may not otherwise have a chance to participate. The partnership is providing a grant of $50,000 to fund on-site postcard art-making field trips directly on school campuses for the four weeks leading up to the Festival weekend.
The Kids’ Imagination Project (KIP) is an international postcard art project spearheaded by Abrakadoodle and has to date already seen art work submitted by thousands of children from all over the globe. KIP’s goal is to connect strangers by having them exchange their original postcard art and learn about each other’s lives through pictures. As part of the Austin KIP initiative, local participants are invited to be part of a community-wide children’s postcard art exchange. Art Alliance Austin has made arrangements to display the kids’ postcard art work in the 2ND Street District, one block from the Art City Austin grounds during the Festival weekend. Families will participate in a fun treasure hunt to find their kids’ own art creations and meet other young artists in the process. Children under 12 can then enter Art City Austin for free with a paying adult to enjoy Children’s art activities, food, music and fun for the entire family. After the Festival, the postcards will be gathered and “mailed” back to the participating schools to ensure there is a postcard received by each child from another postcard artist across the city.
Schools can request a free, on-site field trip to receive a visiting art teacher between March 22 and April 22 by calling Abrakadoodle at 512-380-7555. The visiting teacher will work with all grade levels in each school to create his or her own version of their postcard inspired by the theme “Together We Imagine Austin…”. All art materials and staff will be provided by Abrakadoodle Art Education and Art Alliance Austin.
Individuals are also welcome to participate in the Kids’ Imagination Project (KIP) by downloading a free postcard and sending it into the Abrakadoodle office by April 15, 2010 to be part of the downtown exhibit. The public can download a postcard template from http://www.abrakadoodle.com/TX03/news.html
Postcards should be created using any drawing or painting materials. Once completed mail it in a self-addressed and stamped envelope to 1801 Tracy Miller Lane, Cedar Park, TX 78613 to receive a card back in exchange in late Spring 2010.
Abrakadoodle’s staff, many of whom have higher education degrees in education and the arts, has been providing the highest quality art classes, summer camps, parties, and special event services for 1000s of Austin-area children and their families since they opened their franchise in July 2005. The program has worked with most of the major local school districts and many private schools in the area, including Round Rock, Pflugerville, Austin, Eanes, Manor, Dripping Springs and Taylor ISDs, as well as Magellan International School and Brentwood Christian School, among others. They are also proud to work with other community partners such as Chaparral Ice Centers, The Girl Scouts of Central Texas, The City of Cedar Park, Gattitown, and more, to enhance children’s and family programming options around the area.
Geraldine Smythe and husband / partner, Paul Phelps, own the Central Texas Abrakadoodle art franchise, and were honored in 2009 for the third year in a row as the largest Abrakadoodle business in their international franchise system when they received the Top Producer Award – 2009. Her team’s mission is to be a catalyst to inspire creativity in Central Texan children as they grow and learn more about their own unique creative gifts. Abrakadoodle and Art Alliance Austin both share in their missions to inspire community collaboration using the arts as the medium to communicate with our fellow citizens in a meaningful and memorable way.
ABOUT ABRAKADOODLE: http://www.abrakaoodle.com/tx03
Established in 2002 Abrakadoodle is the most comprehensive national art education company of its kind, offering extensive art classes, spring, summer and winter camps and birthday parties for children ages 20 months to 12 years old. Abrakadoodle’s programs inspire children’s imaginations by immersing them in such art forms as painting, sculpting, mosaics, collage, digital design, paper art, stamping, sketching, anime, studio art, foil embossing, and more. Abrakadoodle publishes an informative blog, “Art for Creative Kids,” which is dedicated to children’s creativity: http://www.abrakadoodle.com/blog/
ABOUT ART ALLIANCE AUSTIN: http://www.artallianceaustin.org
Art Alliance Austin is a non-profit, member-powered organization that promotes and funds visual art by supporting local art institutions and artists. It also commissions public art, hosts an annual international architecture competition, and produces a myriad of events that bring artists and collectors together while generating economic benefit for the entire city.