08/23/09 — ArtSmarts program still taking applications

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ArtSmarts program still taking applications

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on August 23, 2009 2:00 AM

The city of Goldsboro and Wayne County's arts community are again teaming up to provide local children with an after-school program meant to nurture their artistic side.

Applications are still being accepted for this year's ArtSmarts program, a curriculum designed for third- to fifth-grade students that makes teachers out of resident artists five days a week.

For $50 a week -- scholarships are available for children residing within the city limits -- children attend 90-minute classes Monday through Friday at the Herman Park Center. The program runs from 3 to 6 p.m. each day.

"It's either visual arts, music or performing arts," said Sarah Merritt, executive director of the Arts Council of Wayne County. "Maybe even dance or something along those lines."

The goal of the program, Mrs. Merritt added, is to "broaden the horizons" of the county's youth.

"We want to let them kind of explore what they like, what they are interested in," she said. "And if a child feels like, 'Oh, I really love painting,' when they age out of ArtSmarts, we can help them find someone to work with."

This year's curriculum -- taught by a collection of local artists that each will complete a two-week residency with the program -- includes a class on lyric writing, percussion, book-making and abstract art and its connection with geometry and math.

"It's really coming along well. We're really excited," Mrs. Merritt said. "They are doing some really great programs."

In addition to the daily 90-minute class, the children will also be given time to have a post-school snack and work on homework.

"If things work out the way they have in past years, a lot of the kids will come home from ArtSmarts with all their homework done," Mrs. Merritt said.

Thirty children are currently enrolled, she added, but more are certainly welcome.

An open house for the program will be held Thursday at Herman park Center from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Those interested in enrolling their child can contact program coordinator Martha Bryan at 580-4278 or e-mail arts_academy@ci.goldsboro.nc.us