Rotary Youth Club Mural

The community circle painting was delivered to the Rotary Youth Club! It began months ago when some art teachers got the circles started. Then at the “Red, White and Blue Back to School” event, the Fairhope Police and Fairhope Fire Department added some touches, along with the many RYC children in attendance at the event that day.


Over the last few months, professional artists and staff at the Eastern Shore Art Center added details, some of the participants at Shepherd’s Place (a day program for those with dementia) and volunteers also added their touches. The RYC Club kids added more touches in layers over the course of the journey of this panel.


The theme is one of their mottos, and the words are within the circles of colors, “”Respect one another”. No one circle stands alone, and together they shine with beauty! Painters ranged in age from 3-84.


-via Nancy Raia, Community Outreach Director

Art and music, a perfect pairing for today’s field trip from Holly McKinney’s Spanish Fort Elementary School class! Holly told us her students responded well to music, so we developed a lesson around Sloane Bibb Mixed Media‘s guitar piece and added live music!


They made guitars out of cardboard, and added layers of cool stuff to personalize it. We toured the exhibits and danced to Jeanine Normand’s gifted musical performance. Dr. Jazz, as she is known professionally often plays for our first Friday openings. Some of the students danced, others tickled the ivories with her, we all drew to the musical inspiration.


We also had a guest, Miss Adele, who taught art for many years. She complimented their work and sang with us “This little light of mine!”


Thank you to Karin Hutchins, Malise Langlitz, Cecilia Lewis, Melinda Hicks, of course Dr. Jazz and all the many volunteers who help us reach so many, in the ways we can impact them! We love our “village!”


Another great day at ESAC!

“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 Raia

We’ve had several groups work on our Rotary Youth Club mural in the past week, including some of our Board Members after their past meeting!


Nancy even took the mural over to Shepherd’s Place, which is a wonderful day program for adults with memory loss at Fairhope United Methodist Church.

Cupcakes and Birthday cake! Nancy led Kindergarten-3rd grade students from the Fairhope Rotary Youth Club around Sloane Bibb’s exhibit and a project based on “Cupcake”, one of Charise Harper books!

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

Community Outreach Programs

Squeaky Sneakers

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.


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