SMART (Supportive Mentoring Through ART) is a year-long program in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana and Starfish Initiative for youth ages 12-18 with a strong interest in art. Each year, 20 youth and their mentors work one-on-one with professional artists in classes at the Art Center. The goals of the SMART program are to:
- Provide an advanced opportunity for youth who are underserved or facing significant life challenges to develop their artistic skills through participating in high-quality classes, field trips and workshops led by professional, working artists. Increase artistic engagement, art making skills, knowledge of careers and resources.
- Foster positive Youth Development by developing critical thinking and problem solving skills through solving artistic challenges; reflecting on processes, context and product during art making and through critique; increasing ability to express oneself and convey feelings and thoughts via art in a safe, social setting.
- Strengthen the bond between youth and their adult mentors by sparking mentor-youth dialogue; engaging in personal/emotional expression; participating in a shared experience and challenge; and equalizing the youth/adult dynamic through allowing opportunities for youth to be experts.
- Connect youth to their community by increasing sense of belonging to Art Center community; increasing respect for others, empathy, ability to communicate and work with individuals who are different; and providing recognition, appreciation and acknowledgment of youth’s achievements.
After completing a full year of classes each student is awarded a certificate of completion. Several outstanding students are chosen to continue their art education at the Art Center through an extended program called SMART+.
Every June SMART students and mentors participate in an exhibition to celebrate their artistic accomplishments and individual growth.
Major funding of this program provided by the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Foundation
Transformation Trust, Inc.
Lilly Endowment, Inc.
|This program offered in partnership with: