A NEW ART CENTER STAPLE FOR FREE ART EDUCATION GROWS FROM 585 TO 1,444 PARTICIPANTS IN ONE YEAR
Free Family Saturdays which started in 2015 has demonstrated significant growth this year. As compared to last year the program expanded its hours from 4 to 6 per weekly session providing more contact with the public. A total of 32 sessions were hosted at the Art Center in 2015, those grew to 37 this year. Total attendance for 2016 is 1,444 participants- 147% growth in attendance.
Free Family Saturdays encourages family engagement and collaboration through a planned, hands-on art activity between children and their adult relatives. There is no pre-registration requirement. A different project is planned each Saturday, and families are encouraged to drop-in anytime between 10 AM and 330 PM. Art supplies for the activity are provided free of charge to all participants. Audrianna Rios, the program instructor states: “There have been times when parents pull me aside to tell me how much this program means to them because they enjoy art but they do not have the financial means to buy supplies or do the kind of projects that Free Family Saturdays offers. Many of the people are now regulars who look forward to a new art project every week.” A new trend in 2016 is fathers bringing their children to the program and actively participating, and others that stay for the entire length of the session.
“Free Family Saturdays is made possible through a generous contribution from The Nystrom Family Foundation” states Karen Ernst, Director of Education. She added “The Foundation has been instrumental in helping us grow this free program. From the start they understood and supported our vision for this activity’s importance in Aransas County.”
The last session for 2016 was hosted Saturday, December 17. Free Family Saturdays will resume in January 2017.