15 OCTOBER 2008. ARTsmart, a nonprofit organization that produces the annual February ARTfeast weekend celebration and fundraiser, announced that $100,000 will be donated to art programs in the Santa Fe Public Schools (SFPS) and Fine Art for Children and Teens (FACT).

“We are making yet another record donation supporting the visual arts as an interdisciplinary partner in the Santa Fe Public Schools,” said Connie Axton, president of the ARTsmart Board of Directors, adding that “the total ARTsmart donation during the past decade is just under $650,000.”

Presentation: On Tuesday, 21 October 2008, a ceremony and presentation of checks took place at Rio Chama Steakhouse. Amy Summa, Art Education Specialist, accepted the check of $50,000 for the Santa Fe Public Schools. FACT Executive Director Julia Bergen accepted $10,000 on behalf of Fine Art for Children and Teens. Additionally, checks were distributed to SFPS art teachers.

“ARTsmart’s donation of $10,000 will support FACT’s ARTclub after-school visual art programs serving six southside Santa Fe elementary schools where the majority of students participating are at or below poverty," Bergen said. "By giving these children access to high quality, hands-on art making experiences they discover their own unique artistic capacity and become effective creative problem solvers. Support from ARTsmart is making a valuable difference in the lives of hundreds of children.”

Axton explained that the largest portion of the donation goes to the SFPS system to purchase art materials for elementary art programs. Monies also fund a variety of art projects for elementary, middle and high school students sponsored by ARTsmart in conjunction with SFPS art teachers. Additionally, ARTsmart funds an annual scholarship for a high school senior pursuing art in higher education. (See Donation Details.)

Not reflected in the $100,000 donation is the creation of two endowments. “A major achievement of our 2008 ARTfeast fundraiser was establishing endowments that will perpetuate keeping the visual arts alive for Santa Fe’s schoolchildren. We have committed $60,000 to General and Scholarship endowments through the Santa Fe Community Foundation,” Axton said.

Donation Details. The $100,000 donation is apportioned as follows, including art projects the results of which will be on view and for sale during ARTfeast 2009. Proceeds from ARTsmart projects go back to the public schools, and in several instances, sales proceeds are also shared with the student creators of the art.

$50,000 to the “Art Builds Self-Esteem” fund, earmarked for art supplies for 7,300 kids in the Santa Fe Public School Elementary Art Program
$10,000 funding “Small Differences, Large Effects” grants to SFPS teachers for special projects
$10,000 to art programs provided by Fine Art for Children and Teens for 4,500 young people ages 4 to 21 in Santa Fe, San Miguel and Rio Arriba counties
$6,000 to the ARTsmart/Santa Fe Gallery Association Scholarship.
$24,000 to ARTsmart art projects: 
“I Made It!” Plate Competition
“Sharing Joy” Greeting Cards
“Art Engages the World” Acrylic Paintings
“Art Colors My View” Fused-Glass Masks
“Art Colors My View” Stained Glass Jewelry Boxes
“Art Helps Me Explore and Imagine,” Acrylic Paintings mentored by 2009 Honorary Artist Fran Larsen
“Many Perspectives” Metal Sculptures
“Inspired Innovations” Ceramic Sculptures

ARTfeast 2009. The 12th Annual ARTfeast takes place February 20-22, 2009. The weekend is filled with sumptuous cuisine served during events that bring together Santa Fe’s top artists, galleries, restaurants, and lodgers.