Funding Summer Arts Program for Kids

Quinebaug Valley Council for the Arts and Humanities is offering its annual children’s summer art workshop this year with the help of the Rotary Club of Sturbridge.

The popular class runs in two sessions, both serving two age groups. The current session runs from July 9 to July 13. Children ages six through eight attend a morning session five days a week. Kids ages nine or older attend a class immediately following the younger set’s class each day. There is a second session scheduled for July 16 through July 20, but that session is full.

The Sturbridge Rotary sponsored the program at the arts center in whole this summer, alongside grants to the Tri-Community YMCA and Literacy Volunteers of South Central Massachusetts, and other local organizations. Sturbridge Rotarians Robert and Pauline White recently visited QVCAH’s art center at 111 Main Street in Southbridge to discuss the importance of the program and why QVCAH was chosen for funding.

“We are very interested in supporting youth and children’s programs. One of Sturbridge Rotary’s areas of focus is youth and youth development,” comments Mr. White.

The Sturbridge Rotary has recently awarded a series of grants to organizations serving youth development in Sturbridge and nearby towns. The round of grants comes from the Sturbridge Rotary’s Education and Charitable Trust and seeks to provide access to enriching experiences and support for children.

There has never been a fee for enrolling in the kids’ summer art classes that QVCAH offers. The annual program is open to students in any of the twenty-five towns that the arts organization serves. However, there are several costs involved in running the program, ranging from art supplies to a very modest stipend for the instructors who spend months planning, organizing and holding the classes. The instructors are longtime members of the arts organization and they bring a lifetime of experience as artists to the classes.

Students in this year’s cohort come from a range of towns including Southbridge, Sturbridge, Charlton, Brimfield and beyond. Many of the kids return to the program year after year and many become involved in other QVCAH programs after taking a class.

QVCAH is very grateful to the Sturbridge Rotary for their help with this year’s summer arts programming.  “They have been very supportive in so many ways to us and I have been very grateful,” comments a leading member of QVCAH.

The two sessions of the art classes will culminate in a “mini-gallery” show and opening Sunday, July 22 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at 111 Main Street in Southbridge. The annual event is presented like a professional art opening and the children who have participated will have the opportunity to proudly show their work to family and loved ones.

Bob, Pauline White - Art Center