“Can’t you stay until nighttime? The street lights will come on so we can still see…” – Easel Rider youth participant
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT SOCIALS HOSTED BY ASHEVILLE HOUSING AUTHORITY
The children at Pisgah View Apartments barter as the Easel Rider crew packs up for the day. Children tightly bond in response to the caring and structured attention of an art class environment. Their creativity is admired by Teaching Artists and they are comfortable sharing their hopes and dreams in whatever medium they choose. A collaborative effort by several local non-profits to make resources available to the housing communities of Asheville, these socials proved to be a gathering space and Easel Rider a children’s sanctuary for comradery in the creation of art.
EASEL RIDER SHOWS UP FOR THE COMMUNITY
This past June – August, this Mobile Art Lab was accessible to the public for nearly 60 events and provides child enrichment & community resource opportunities all year round. In high demand during the summer months, Easel Rider is LEAF’s daily reminder of the importance and overwhelming force for change and healing that art serves the individual. From June – August alone, the Easel Rider was accessible to the public for nearly 60 events largely thanks to the commitment of our partners such as Asheville Parks & Recreation, Asheville Housing Authority (HACA), Buncombe County Schools (BCS), Asheville Downtown Association (ADA), and more, to ensure child enrichment and community resource opportunities all year round.
LEAF’s Easel Rider Mobile Art Lab has been cruising through Asheville communities since summer 2013, bringing people from all walks of life a safe, welcoming and liberating space to express themselves through visual arts.
CULTURAL ARTS IN THE PARK AT PRITCHARD PARK
Art for the journey. But art can be the summation as well. An emotional elder has her grandkids translate for her as she takes in the piece they collaborate on at Pritchard Park, “They drew my life,” she says. A legacy memorialized in art. In partnership with ADA, Easel Rider, alongside various LEAF Resident Teaching Artists, brought cultural arts education to Pritchard Park in downtown Asheville for a 10-week summer series. Music from the festive streets of New Orleans to the tropics of West Africa to the funky hip-hop clubs of the 80’s offered a natural theme to visual art activities for spectators each week – taking pieces of cultural enlightenment from of it all, create whatever moves you, whatever represents you authentically in this moment.
BUNCOMBE COUNTY SCHOOLS SUMMER MEALS & WHEELS
Lunch, literature and new languages! The Haw Creek and Deaverview communities deepened connections with their neighbors through a series combining the BCS summer lunch program, BookMobile and LEAF Easel Rider. At Spruce Hill Apartments, a significant population of recent immigrants embraced the chance to express themselves, making an impact on the Teaching Artists – “We communicated through art to kids who didn’t speak English – art as a second language!”
ACT ON IT!
Teach a young person a hobby. Pass down an art activity, craft, recipe or other creative activity you enjoy and see where they take it!
ABOUT THIS POST:
LEAF Schools & Streets measures the results of the cultural arts education work through the Developmental Assets Profile. Young person spends three or more hours per week in lessons or practice in music, theater or other arts is an example of Creative Activities.
The IMPACT | Academic Achievement: Involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, creative thinking and verbal skills. Arts learning can also improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork. Studies show that students with a high engagement in the arts are less likely to drop out of school.
100% of parents reported that their youth enjoyed their LEAF classes and festival experience.
For more information on LEAF Schools & Streets, please email outreach@theLEAF.org.