Arts council teaches kids in outreach classes

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For the past two years, the Arts Council of Wilson and the Wilson Rotary Club have teamed with the Wilson Housing Authority to provide on-site cultural arts programming for Whitfield Homes, Fountain Drive Homes and Forrest Road Homes.

Kelly Vick, president and CEO of the Wilson Housing Authority, was instrumental in making these opportunities available for the children. Working with the coordinators from each site (Michelle Hargrove, Danielle Sims and Belinda Belton), a schedule and plan were created around the summer meal program.

This year’s workshops featured painting on canvas with acrylics and creating wind socks and other 3D objects for visual arts and turning the children’s own stories into presentations in performing arts.

“There were two classes at each of the three sites this summer that provided some wonderful opportunities for the creative minds and talents of our children to be enhanced and their quality of life improved through artistic experiences they would not otherwise have had,” said Elisabeth Farnsworth, marketing and education director, Arts Council of Wilson. These classes were offered free of charge and were always well attended.

Local comic illustrator Louis Small taught a series of drawing classes at Snowden Drive in the spring. Small, a well-known graphic novel artist for Marvel and DC Comics and a popular drawing instructor in Wilson, took on the challenge of inspiring some budding new graphic artists in these additional programs, she said.

This summer, visual artists Kimberly Valentine, Anna Batts and Farnsworth taught painting, crafts and sculpture to the students. Christopher Balance led classes in acting and storytelling.

These programs would not have been possible without the teachers sharing their artistic talents with these children, Farnsworth said.

“The coordinators, parents and the Wilson Rotary Club were also critical in making these programs possible,” she said.