In an effort to bring art-making, history, and activities that reinforced educational initiatives to elementary school-aged children impacted by COVID shutdowns within the City of Winchester, the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) partnered with Virginia Avenue Charlotte DeHart Elementary School (VACDES) and Arte Libre VA (ALVA) to develop a pilot program to provide ten weekly arts-focused educational services to 100 households with school aged children that have limited or no computer, mobile and/or internet services.
Studies have demonstrated that art-making plays a vital role within the educational development of children. As such, the art kits contained specific activities that encouraged young minds to express emotions and think creatively, while also reinforcing educational initiatives in support of reading, writing, social studies and math skills.
It was a great project and partnership with meaningful, tangible results.
This non-profit is so important to our community!! Many children have benefited from the fabulous art kits that were distributed during the quarantine; challenging young minds and producing new talents! The detail with which the kits were assembled was impressive and must have taken lots of time and thought. I was able to see the smiling faces of participants and the results of their magical projects! Three cheers to Arte Libre with hopes that it will be a fixture in the Winchester area :)
Arte Libre is amazing! I used their art project during quarantine for my two boys (age 7 & 11). They loved the activities that were sent! It was great exposure to new art techniques. The materials were all provided with detailed instructions and lots of examples. This was an awesome thing to keep my kids occupied and they loved it!! Would highly recommend.
This nonprofit encourages community engagement that helps stimulate the mind body and soul while opening the door for togetherness and creation. Their diligence and passion is inspiring.
I have had the pleasure of collaborating with Arte Libre director Abi Gomez on art camps at the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum in the summers of 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. In addition, Abi and I have collaborated in bringing a multicultural Itty Bitty Outreach pilot program to preschoolers and their caregivers this past spring before the pandemic hit.
Abi is professional, inquisitive, thorough, incredibly smart, and a delight to work with. She is a natural leader, who is highly respected by her peers and by our young campers. Arte Libre is consistently present wherever the community needs enrichment and beauty.
--Dr. Diane, Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum
I have had the opportunity to work with ALVA on a project during the Covid lock down. I found them to be very professional and easy to work with. The services they are providing is critical for the full healthy development of the children they serve. It is a unique organization that Is meeting the art needs of our community that had previously been completely unmet. The creativity of the projects and the outreach has become a vital part of these children’s lives, providing them with materials and education that they would not otherwise have. So grateful to have this organization in our community and lookIng forward to seeing what they do next.
As a board member of ALVA I, of course, am partial to this organization, but I joined in large part because I was impressed by the work ALVA was doing when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. When schools and recreational art studios closed, ALVA pivoted to provide art kits for kids in the community, giving not just activities to children, but also relief to parents and guardians suddenly finding themselves grappling with added challenges in the home. The inclusive nature of ALVA ensures that children of color and low income families in particular are not left behind during this pandemic. Now, more than ever, children will need art as an outlet to the immense stress of today's world. Art and ALVA are providing that.
I've been working with Arte Libre as a teaching artist and now board member for about a year now, and I'm so proud of this organization! I've been able to work directly with children in the community to bring them art and work on murals together, and seeing the smiles on their faces has been so rewarding. I can see the impact we've had in those smiles, and that impact continues even now, in the time of the pandemic. We've created art kits to distribute to underprivileged youth for free so they still get to enjoy making art at home. It warms my heart to know the children receiving these kits aren't going without some color and joy in their lives as we stay at home. I'm so excited to continue my work with Arte Libre and to help this non-profit make an even bigger impact.
I've helped with the "Arte Libre in the Time of COVID". This is a wonderful program that has continued to grow throughout the quarantine period. It is a clear demonstration of Arte Libre's ability to fulfill their goal of bringing art to those marginalized groups that previously wouldn't have had exposure to the arts. It was a pleasure contributing and I look forward participating in future programs.
Arte Libre was able to step into an important community role during the Covid-19 crisis, by providing Free Art Kits and materials to Youth in need during quarantine. They are continuing to come up with creative solutions to still be able to create community art, while practicing and maintaining physical distancing best practices. Very happy to support this much needed organization!