“All in a day’s work! Check out these smiles and happy artwork! We are once again creating Christmas and all occasion cards from the Regional School for the Deaf and Blind. Today’s session created all these images, the children were so eager to paint and create!
The sale of the cards will help support the art program for these sweet children. James Sherman, I hope you’re ready to help us on this project! Amy Arnold Hess, thanks for a great day!”
Nancy worked with the Fairhope Rotary Youth Club “Back to School” event, designing bookbag tags and creating a community mural. The event was held at the Fairhope United Methodist Church and hosted by the Fairhope Police Department!
“A big shoutout to my wonderful volunteers who helped today! Donna, Anita, Molly and Anna! I couldn’t do what I do without the donations, quiet partners, eager volunteers, and support of my family. We saw LOTS of darling kiddos at our booth today, painted with children, adults, F.F.D and F.P.D! The mural will be finished soon, and is intended to go to the Rotary Youth Club!” – Nancy Raia
“Thank you Ardith Goodwin for impacting the teachers with your amazing skills! They discovered so many new processes and innovative ways to teach the face, and the story behind each picture. I’m very proud to be a part of serving our art teachers in our community and beyond. They all work so hard bringing up our next generation of creatives, it was so refreshing seeing them get a chance to be innovative and practicing their own craft! While they worked, they were asking so many questions and sharing information and ideas on all kinds of things to help each other in the classroom. They left refreshed and invigorated, and that thrills me.
When you teach a group of teachers, think how many children you can impact! If each of these teachers impacted even one of their classes with one of your lessons, that would be at least 300 impacted. Some of them teach eight classes a day so one could teach 700-800 a week….I’ll let you do the math to estimate all 14 attendees multiplying that number…my head is spinning!
We love supporting our teachers! They deserve it!”
-Nancy Raia, ESAC Community Outreach Director
``What an amazing day… learning more about how I can offer students more options for creativity. Getting ordinary people to see that they are valuable – their ideas are valuable – their creativity is valuable is why I teach. Ardith and Nancy opened windows and doors today. Thank you.``
Lauren Reddick Reichert
``Enjoyed Saturday's workshop with Ardith Goodwin and Nancy Raia! Ardith’s story of how she discovered her artistic talent was such an inspiration. Rarely have I meet someone who can explain so clearly their path in the creative process. The projects, the drawing & painting, and, of course, the connecting with like-minded women made the day a true blessing. Thank you both for allowing me this amazing opportunity.``
``It was a fun and enjoyable day!! I learned several useful things that I think I can use in the classroom. Thanks to both of you!``
Art Teacher, Murphy High School
Community Outreach means teaching without the limits of the walls that contain the Art Center. The mission of the Art Center’s Outreach Program is to make art experiences available to everyone. It responds to the needs of the community by bringing new learning to those seeking to discover the world of communication through art.
The Outreach Program is under the direction of Nancy Raia. Her role is to travel the county and beyond. She believes art brings us together and celebrates our differences. The Outreach Program embraces young and old, those with disabilities and chronic illnesses, and the underserved. Through art and the creative process, Nancy passionately works with those traumatized by natural and manmade disasters, helping them process their fears and frustrations, their anger and losses; leading them to a place of love, acceptance, and joy.
Community Outreach Programs
Squeaky Sneakers is a collaborative effort between the Art Center and Weeks Bay Reserve. It incorporates an integrated curriculum of art and science. Children between the ages of 4 and 16 explore the Weeks Bay watershed through experiential outdoor activities on and in the water, as well as nature hikes. Campers blend new knowledge and science techniques with personal creativity through art.
This project helps participants become more literal stewards of their coastal environment and fosters their personal connections to it. Each year, Squeaky Sneakers impacts approximately 375 children enrolled in local youth programs. Since this program began in 2008, it has twice won the Gulf of Mexico Guardian Award.
Senior to Senior
Senior to Senior partners high school art students with senior citizens in assisted living centers with the goal of linking the generations through art and conversation. The senior citizens socialize and gain a sense of accomplishment through completing art projects. Students gain an understanding not only of the challenges facing the elderly, but also how much wisdom comes with age.
Art Without Limits
Art Without Limits has provided art lessons for the children at the Southwest Alabama Regional School for the Deaf and Blind in Mobile for the past seven years. All lessons must be carefully adapted to those with visual and hearing disabilities. ESAC also uses this program to offer group and private lessons for artists of all ages with disabilities and chronic illnesses, reinforcing the belief that everyone has the ability to create art.
Internships are available on a limited basis and are open to high school and college students pursuing an art career. Students will learn all aspects of the Community Outreach Program, as well as develop lesson plans and eventually implement them. Previous interns have gone on to pursue careers in art therapy, teaching, and producing art professionally.