The Maine Arts Commission has awarded the Center for Maine Contemporary Art funding for its in-school Leaps of Imagination program. Leaps brings local artists into public elementary schools to ignite children’s imaginations and engage them in new ways of thinking and creating. Within the context of literature and social justice themes, students work on long-term, integrated art projects directly linked to their curriculum. Together they explore multiple mediums and ideas.
“Hands-on arts experiences give students opportunities for creative problem-solving, making connections between themselves and others, and making sense of their world. It’s part of CMCA’s core mission to provide these opportunities to students,” says CMCA director, Suzette McAvoy.
What makes “Leaps” unique is that classroom teachers are an integral part of the program. Recognizing the power that art has on learning and school culture, they work closely with mentor artists to promote the spirit of innovation and collaboration. Throughout the month-long program, children, in partnerships, create large-scale artwork, displayed at a culminating community exhibition.
CMCA’s elementary school program has grown exponentially since 2014. With the support of the Maine Arts Commission and the Davis Family Foundation, Leaps of Imagination will serve children in new communities this year, including Vinalhaven, Tenants Harbor (St. George School and Jackson Memorial Library), and Cushng, in addition to its work at Lura Libby School in Thomaston.
Committed to working closely with local audiences, CMCA also offers monthly Saturday afternoon ArtLab experiences for makers of all ages. The fall season begins on November 7, with Alexis Iammarino, lead artist for ArtLab and Leaps of the Imagination.
The Center for Maine Contemporary Art is a non-profit organization advancing contemporary art in Maine through exhibitions and high-quality educational programs that spark the imagination. For more information visit, cmcanow.org.