SchoolArts Magazine

February 2015

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Page 38 of 50

F O C U S I N : O R G A N I Z A T I O N U P D A T E S I n 2005, mother-son team Barbara and Roger Allen were asked to fill the School District of Phila- delphia's new 850,000 square- foot Education Center with student artwork. Rather than use the small, original pieces, they decided to use photographic enlargements of the art. Each time a piece was installed, some- one would come up and say, "I love that! Can I buy one?" After two years of saying, "No, they're not for sale," the Allens realized that these bril- liant reproductions of student art were highly desirable. Individuals wanted them. Companies wanted them. Realizing that children themselves could play an active part in funding art education, the Allens created Fresh Artists, a new model of civic engage- ment where recipients of corporate generosity—students—are full and equal partners in the common goal: Make art accessible to all children. Teaching Civic Engagement A core goal of Fresh Artists is to facili- tate the direct civic engagement of children by creating a tangible oppor- tunity for them to give to each other. Fresh Artists does not "sell" children's art; they accept donations to fund the delivery of art supplies and innovative programs for needy schools and give thank-you gifts of nominal value (pho- tographs of children's artwork) to their generous donors. Children participate fully by donating their artwork for this express purpose. Fresh Artists concentrates on school districts with high propor- tions of low-income families (where at least 70% of students receive free or reduced-price meals), identifies extraordinary art from K–12 public schools, and invites children to donate their art to help other children. The artwork is photographed, scanned, and returned to the artists. Each child permanently retains the copyright and ownership of his or her original art. Barbara C. Allen Page sponsored by: Fresh Artists Mission Statement Creating the ability for generous children to make a real difference in their world, Fresh Artists engages children as full partners in philanthropy, widely exhibits children's artwork in highly visible and unexpected places, and delivers art supplies and innovative art programs to severely under- funded public schools across the country. Fresh Artists Livening Up the Workplace The artwork children provide to donors is meaningful, engaging, and brings some vibrancy to otherwise bland corporate environments. Best of all, exhibiting the artwork connects the donors to the artists. Donors may also regift the artwork to charities of their choosing and participate in our multi-year program of "refreshing" their workplace by donating their old art panels to other nonprofit facilities, co-branded with Fresh Artists. Fresh Artists started in Philadelphia, but it now includes other cities and plans to offer more opportunities. Learn more about Fresh Artists at Barbara C. Allen is co-founder of Fresh Artists. bcallen@ Group project, grades three and four, Hancock Elementary School, Philadelphia, PA. Installed in Policy Lab, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Photo donated by Jeffrey Totaro. 34

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