Dear Friends of ARTsmart,
I am proud to introduce myself to you as the new board president of ARTsmart New Mexico. As the Arts Education Coordinator of the Santa Fe Public Schools, I worked closely with ARTsmart for over 15 years to bring enriching visual arts experiences to Santa Fe’s children and youth. I saw firsthand how impactful ARTsmart’s work is to teachers and students. Now that I am retired from my school position, I am excited to continue this work with ARTsmart’s dedicated board and staff.
One of the most inspirational components of ARTsmart has long been our Teaching Artist Program bringing teachers and working artists together to explore new techniques, media, and philosophies in art with students. An essential aspect of the program is to expose students to racially and culturally diverse artists, which can only increase their embrace of diversity and understanding of our areas’ vibrant arts community.
In these challenging times, ARTsmart is adapting to meet the changing needs of students and their families. ARTsmart’s board and staff believe we can do this best by concentrating our efforts on in-school programming which will reach Northern New Mexico and Santa Fe’s most economically challenged youth. For this reason, and the current uncertainty which prevents us from using our building for camps, workshops and exhibits, we have come to the difficult decision of selling the ARTsmart Community Studio building. The profit from this sale will support our mission and programming and help grow our Teaching Artist Program to serve communities that are rich with local artists, but lack effective arts education programs in their schools.
Recent and on-going initiatives:
- Virtual Teaching Artists; accessible online classes for teachers, parents, and students.
- Creativity and Imagination Kits; distributed free to young artists across Northern New Mexico. Kits can be purchased or donated here.
- Partnerships with nonprofits and galleries to bring the Teaching Artist Program to students at low-income schools.
- Art Changes Lives Scholarship; funds for high school seniors planning to study art in college.
- Honorary Artist Residency; pairing high school art students with established local artists for art-making and exposure to employment opportunities within our arts economy.
- Collaborations with institutions and organizations in Rio Arriba County connecting students with Teaching Artists living and working in their communities.
Last fall, Capital High art students worked with Honorary Resident Artists Kevin and Jennifer Box to create these impressive sculptures that are on sale now at our online store.
Students will receive half of the proceeds from sales, with the remaining funds donated to Capital High’s art program. Here is a video about this extraordinary project:
The ARTsmart team is excited to be leaders in bringing meaningful visual arts experiences to the young artists of our region. We are grateful for your support of ARTsmart’s mission over the years and look forward to many more years of creative service to our youth, families, and communities!
Amy Summa and the ARTsmart Board and Staff