Amazingly enough, this project has already begun conception and its early planning stages. It is right and refreshing that the Awesome Grant would make itself available at this exact time.
My name is Katrieia Snipes and I use art and psychology to make the world a better place--specifically in the lives of the young people in my community. The project I am piloting, "Arts Mentoring: Spring 2012" is an 8-week, daily after-school program designed to inspire young people to believe in themselves. Its design warrants expression and learning through observation, instruction, and real relationships.
The first week is when the 30 projected young artists and I, along with my assistant, establish an accepting sense of community, as I have practiced creating in over ten years of direct supervision of children and teens in arts and crafts camps, mentoring and supporting teens affiliated with the local religious organization, and perfecting my approach to serving people in customer service positions. During this week also, the artists will produce a pre-program drawing to compare with work at the end of the Arts Mentoring Program.
Every Monday of each week is check-in day. The "emotional temperature" of the room is assessed, and role-play is expressed and discussed. During the week lessons are executed; mental and artistic lessons, including how to value one's talent as an artist without wishing for others' skills. This allows artists to appreciate the treasure inside of them, which unlocks one of the "creativity blocks". Another important key the young artists will learn is to value their mistakes. In terms of skill, drawing and composition will take place the first few weeks, from drawing lines and shapes to fabric and plants. Then color theory and painting will be infused. Fridays will be the "Free Art" day, in which the young artists are free to be creative, and a "Mini-Art History Lesson" is given in an informal format. During the final week of the program, artists will produce a painting of their choice, to present to the school and compare to their original drawing.
One final piece that will be included is an anonymous list of encouragements for each young artist: each artist will write one good thing about each peer that they will keep. The projected result of the program is confidence in art and in life.
Funded by Washington, DC (August 2011)