The Dreaming Zebra® Foundation and Blick announce a new initiative to help the students of Flint, Michigan

 

The Dreaming Zebra® Foundation and Blick Art Materials are joining forces to bring art materials to the classrooms of the Flint Community Schools. Although the water crisis has rightly absorbed much of the government and press attention in Flint, day-to-day problems persist in the city, especially in its schools. One of the most pressing—and one that can be solved directly—is the lack of art materials in Flint classrooms.

Flint spends less than 75 cents per student on art materials per year, and no teacher receives more than $225 a year for art supplies.

 "The materials that we have are so old and brittle that they crumble in our hands,” Flint teaching artist Melissa Leaym-Fernandez told us. “There is no paint or paper, few pencils, no ceramics, and no funds to service kilns or buy art supplies. I have seen what happens when creative connections are made, and light sparks in the eye of a student who has had a real life arts success. It is a powerful and moving moment. This can change lives forever. The arts have that kind of power and I have seen this power at work in my classroom."

Blick is reaching out to its customers at three Michigan locations (Detroit, Dearborn and Royal Oak) to help with materials. Each customer who donates a newly purchased item will receive 30% off a future purchase. The offer is 30% off one item, valid 5/19-5/29, and will only be offered for those donating one or more items to supply drive. Dreaming Zebra is also collecting donations for art supplies at its website: http://dreamingzebra.org/
 
“Blick is proud to partner with Dreaming Zebra® in providing essential art materials for the programs, communities, and children who need it most,” says Bob Buchsbaum, Chief Executive Officer, Blick Art Materials. “Like Dreaming Zebra, we believe in the transformative power of art as a way to learn, heal, and grow. What’s more, art is at the core of a variety of careers such as graphic design, illustration, animation, teaching, and many others. By unlocking a child’s creative potential at an early age, art can provide direction and focus for the future.”

 “Our goal is to reach those children who have the least materially, and who need our help the most,” says Dreaming Zebra® Executive Director Dawne Camera. “Empowering self-expression, the healing power of the arts, and creativity for youth improves graduation rates, builds student confidence, and enhances overall academic performance. Flint students are in profound need, and since our first donation to the program in 2014, we have seen the inspiration, impact and creativity of the students blossom when they are given basic materials to support art education.”

The school district is especially interested in donations of acrylic and tempera paints, drawing pencils and paper, watercolors, palettes, paintbrushes and canvas. The three participating Blick locations: Detroit, 4501 Woodward Ave.; Royal Oak, 28878 Woodward Ave; and Dearborn, 14339 Michigan Ave.

 The art supplies will be used at elementary and high schools that offer visual arts programming in the district. Supplies going to these schools will be used by classroom certified art teachers and a professional teaching artist

"My goal is for every child to become a well-rounded adult and that means quality exposure to the arts on a regular basis,” says Bilal Tawwab, Superintendent of Flint Community Schools. “I enjoyed and looked forward to weekly classes in visual arts and music as a child, and our kids in Flint need those same powerful experiences." 
 


Ways to Help:

• Donate Today! Your contribution will be used to purchase the most needed art supplies for Flint Students.

• Donate art supplies for Flint students at the following Blick Art Materials store locations in Michigan from 4/20/16 to 5/18/16.

Flint Art Program Facts

• 5,800 students in 11 Flint Community Schools
• None of the Elementary Schools have a full-time visual arts teacher
• The average budget for Flint Students is less than $.75 per child, per year.
No teacher receives more than $225 a year for art supplies.

Our Goal:

To increase the average budget per child per year from $0.75 to a minimal $5 per child per year. $20 per child per year would be a more appropriate number to allow for a full range of art activities and experiences.

 

• Your generous gift will transform the lives of children in Flint!
• Your kindness will support spontaneous creativity in the classroom.
• You donation will allow teachers to develop engaging, real art lessons.
• You'll help children find methods to change their lives & work through trials.
• You'll receive a personal thank you from the kids. 

 

 

 

Thank you for supporting Flint students!

 

 

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