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Review for Artists Of America, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

The purpose of Artists of America is to bring art back into the classroom! When schools began to shave costs from their budgets, classes like art, music, dance, theater and story-telling were the first to go. Unfortunately, schools and parents thought these classes were non-essential, but research has discovered that art is important to the young student because: • Early exposure to visual art, music, or drama promotes activity in the brain. • Art helps children understand other subjects much more clearly—from math and science, to language arts and geography. • Art nurtures inventiveness as it engages children in a process that aids in the development of self-esteem, self-discipline, cooperation, and self-motivation. • Participating in art activities helps children to gain the tools necessary for understanding human experience, adapting to and respecting others' ways of working and thinking, developing creative problem-solving skills, and communicating thoughts and ideas in a variety of ways. • Through exercising their imaginations, the arts help students to make new connections, transcend previous limitations and think "outside of the box". Drawing is one of the most important activities children can do. Drawing not only provides the basis for other creative activities - like painting, sculpture and printmaking - but it also provides a direct link with reading, writing and especially mathematics. The connection between drawing and geometric shapes and measurements simply cannot be denied. And do you know what else? Drawing is the single most accessible form of art available. All you need is a pencil and a sheet of paper. Mel Schoenberger is a volunteer and member of Artists of America. He teaches cartooning. "We begin by drawing triangles, squares, circles, rectangles and other geometric shapes. Then we learn proportion as we begin to connect the shapes into human or animal forms. Expression of emotion, the action of the character and story line is developed. The student learns patience and perseverance, self- discipline and the ability to concentrate." They probably don’t notice that their penmanship and spelling improves while their characters “talk.” Mel emphasises that it’s important that when your child brings his or her art home that you display it … most likely on the refrigerator door. You’re telling your child that you’re proud of them and that encourages the growth of their self-esteem. That makes your child healthier and happier. A Healthy, Happy Child Learns Best! Artists of America works very hard to provide free art classes to foster children and at-risk youth. Their goal is to improve lives ... one child at a time!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

providing free art classes for foster children and at-risk youth.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

hire five full time grant writers to secure the funds so AOA can afford a professional staff (web site designer, grahic artists, newsletter writers and editor, data entry and administrative assistant for the President, Diedre Burke.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

giving troubled children a positive experience.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

connected through the love of the arts.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

hire a professional staff, operate its many worthwhile programs and expand to other cities to meet the needs of underseved children across the U.S.

Ways to make it better...

there were more funding for more programs through Artists of America.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

funding ... funding ... and funding!

One thing I'd also say is that...

Artists of America has done a magnificent job despite the lack of funds.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

Role:  Board Member & I helped set up free art classes in the City of Whittier, CA.