For the past ten years, the Portside Arts Center has filled the gaps in providing children’s visual and performing arts education to nearly 150,000 residents of Fishtown and Port Richmond.
The Center, founded in 2007 by local artist Kim Creighton, is a nonprofit that has maintained an important presence in the community — especially since the economic recession, as local public schools have been suffering dwindling or slashed budgets for after-school arts programming.
Earlier this year, the Portside Arts Center launched the Portside ArtsMobile Project. During a six-month residency, the Center is bringing art education to grade school children by way of an actual ‘ArtsMobile’: A traveling bus with project-based curricula, educators, and supplies.
All of the current ‘ArtsMobile’ projects are designed specifically for 1st – 5th graders. Using creative and fun approaches like palette association and fractal quilt-making, the projects aim to improve student learning through integrated arts education, the use of visual art to help teach and support learning in standard academic subjects, into the local school systems that it visits. Impressively, the six-month project is exclusively funded through foundation, local business, and grant support — at no cost to the schools.
The Portside Arts Center also sees the ArtsMobile visits as a way to ‘educate the educators’, as they offer the teachers opportunities to learn about integrating visual arts into their own curriculums through actual hands-on projects, along with other classroom resources.
Are you a teacher or parent in Philadelphia? Request for the ArtsMobile to visit your school. If you like what the Portside Arts Center supports, you can also make a donation to fund the ArtsMobile.
Follow ArtsMobile updates on the Portside Arts Facebook page.