National Arts in Education Week!


The Importance of Arts in Education

Last week was a doozie!! Not only did our new Executive Director, Bryant Whelan, start here at ESAC—but it was our first week of Fall classes, we led out-of-town conference guests in an art session, hosted the Eastern Shore Camera Club monthly meeting, and unloaded from our wood firing workshop!


If you’ve been following us on Facebook all week, we’ve been capturing daily snippets of #ArtEdWeek. Don’t worry though–we’re catching you up on everything right here!

A little backstory on National Arts in Education Week:


“Passed by Congress in 2010, House Resolution 275 designates the week beginning with the second Sunday in September as National Arts in Education Week. During this week, the field of arts education joins together in communities across the country to tell the story of the impact of the transformative power of the arts in education.” #BecauseofArtsEd


For more information, visit Americans for the Arts at

Now for the good stuff...

Monday, September 11:


We began our week welcoming our new Executive Director, Bryant Galloway Whelan– and we’ve put her right to work! She’s been busy taking notes about what makes ESAC great and how she can make it even better!! The same day Nancy Raia led 20 guests from the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) in a mini art session. They painted tarpaper inspired abstracts and learned how to create batik watercolor pieces-using toothpaste and lotion as the resist element!

Tuesday, September 12:


We hung some newbies in our Academy hallway: Student Artwork in response to Cuba’s culture! Nancy led this project in conjunction with the current exhibit #BacktoHavana at the Alabama Contemporary Art Center. Make sure to hop on over to Mobile to see the rest of our work on the 3rd floor!

Wednesday, September 13:


We asked Dr. Bob Bantens who he thought would take this year’s #Throwdown going on in Mobile Friday night!

Wednesday was the grand reveal from our workshop the weekend before. Opening the kiln after the long weekend is like the anticipation of Christmas Day!

Thursday, September 14:


We always enjoy a good #ThrowbackThursday pic! The week before, Nancy visited Ms. Marshall’s students to share some of her Community Outreach programs.

Thank you for your wonderful presentation on the therapeutic use of art. My students will be able to incorporate these lessons with persons living with dementia and with persons with behavioral health challenges. And for some this skill will also be part of their self-care toolkit.

Anne Marshall, MS, CTRS

University of South Alabama

Thursday night we also had the pleasure of hosting the Eastern Shore Camera Club’s monthly meeting! During the session, members were treated to a discussion with this year’s ESAC Exhibit judge, Chris Riley.

Friday, September 15:


Nancy competed in Mobile Arts Council‘s annual Throwdown fundraiser!


“Shaking up the traditional silent auction, the Mobile Arts Council has created an event that you don’t want to miss! Throwdown 6: Retribution will go down on September 15, 2017, from 6-9 PM at the Temple in downtown Mobile.


This one-of-a-kind silent auction/ loud party features a competition like none other seen in Mobile. Inspired by concepts from some of TV’s most-loved competition shows, Mobile Arts Council has drafted five artists to compete in a battle of creativity (think Chopped and Iron Chef).”


Devlin Wilson may have won the title, but we are so proud of Nancy and hope it was a successful night for our friends at MAC!

How has your life been affected by Arts Education? Let us know in the comments below!


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