The Columbia Arts Council is looking at ways to expand a new arts club at Boys and Girls Clubs of Maury County, including bringing in additional instructors to help the program grow.
Arts Council Treasurer Quan McFall opened Wednesday’s meeting by outlining the Boys & Girls program, which he helped create alongside fellow instructor Alex Saylor. The weekly Wednesday club teaches students several artistic mediums, from chalk art to pencil drawing, string art and more.
McFall said the club has so far attracted several students with 17 children currently participating in the various trades on offer. However, as the club continues to grow, there is a growing need for additional volunteer performers to help teach, as well as funding to enable even more activity.
“We started with simple arts and crafts, letting club members keep some of their work and leaving other work for examples and for future gallery showings,” McFall said. “Planning will be essential for future progress as the club develops, and it would be nice to have additional volunteers coming in to work with the youngsters.”
Additional resource funding would provide art materials and other craft tools for children. It will also offer more activities in the future, such as outdoor activities, pottery lessons or to host the club on several days of the week.
“It has been over three months and they are showing tremendous interest in all of their activities. Now the goal is to get them to spend more time with volunteers who aren’t shy about coming to showcase their skills and possibly giving the youngsters more hands-on experience,” McFall said.
“There’s a lot of planning that goes into it, and we’ve kind of come to the conclusion that we need more resources, because we’re pooling ours right now. Getting more volunteers is the hardest part. We’re just looking for simple resources, nothing complicated at the moment, because we still have to find the kids who want to take it to the next level.”
The city’s arts council receives an annual stipend of $5,000, and McFall said the funding needed would only be a few hundred dollars, although a specific number has yet to be decided since some projects cost more expensive than others, and much of the club is still being planned.
Arts council vice-chair Abigail Hornaday-Collett said the council could use its budget to fund the necessary resources, given that there aren’t many established plans for future spending related to arts. arts. It would also provide the necessary means to develop an artistic program aimed at young people in the city.
She is also excited to see what additional projects the club could come up with, if they receive the necessary funding and resources.
“We could allocate $500 for this semester, and if you run it out and [you could] check back with us for more on summer programs,” said Hornaday-Collett. “It would be great if they could do something like glass blowing.
Arts Council Chair Beverly Mitchell added that the important thing in supporting such a program is reaching children through the arts and the effect this can have on their developing young minds. .
“Exposure to the arts and for those who ‘catch it,’ you feed them,” Mitchell said. “It’s awesome.”