“We realized that those families most in need probably don’t have the means to do this,” said Mothner. “Finances at this time shouldn’t be a barrier for anyone to get this type of programming.”
Last month, the center’s programs became affordable for everyone when a grant from the Belle and Louise Cofer Fund and the Tomlinson Memorial Foundation made it possible to offer free classes for kids from ages 5 through 19. Mothner expects the free sessions to continue throughout the year as a way to give back to the community that’s been supportive throughout the pandemic.
“At a time when it’s most needed, we are thrilled to be able to offer these in-person classes for our community’s youth and hope that their collective spirit of creativity will continue to uplift us all in the coming months,” Mothner said in a statement.
Since last spring, the center has instituted safety precautions that will remain in place. Air purification systems were installed in each classroom. Participants are required to wear face masks, and class sizes were reduced to ensure social distancing. Additionally, the facilities are sanitized after each use.
For Brookhaven mom Michelle Carden, giving her daughter, Abigail, a way to stay engaged with art is a priority. During the fall, Abigail took a weekly class with just eight other students who learned about different artists and worked on a variety of paint, clay, 3D and multi-media projects.
“She wants to be an artist, and being at home all day just with me and no social interaction wasn’t good,” said Carden. “I looked for classes where she could be around others who share that interest in a small setting. She didn’t know anybody, but she came home happy. Art is an important part of her life, and it gave her something to look forward to during the week. And it gave us both a break.”
Information about Spruill’s art classes is online at spruillarts.org.
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