Member News

Read about how NAMTA members are supporting the arts in their communities.


Title I, Part A (Title I) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended (ESEA) provides financial assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards. (Oct 5, 2015)

Early in July, Marianne Bennett, owner of MM Manufacturing aka Marvelous Marianne's received this email from a rural Title 1 school.

"I would like to request a donation of your product for our school's art program. We are a small, rural, Title I school who does not have a large budget for purchasing items from year to year, therefore we rely heavily on donations. Our art room does not have a sink and in order for students to clean up, they must walk to the nearest student bathrooms which are a considerable distance away and make it difficult for me to monitor the classroom and the bathroom simultaneously as the two rooms are out of sight of one another. Since this is a gentle cleaner that can be used without water, it would be a very welcome and appreciated addition to our room."

Under the teacher's name was "Even the smallest person can change the course of the future."  - J.R.R Tolkien

Marianne said, "All of us, suppliers, retailers and reps donate items but this email for a rural Title 1 school in Rural may be reminder to all of us of the importance of our art giving."

Art Walk recently took place in Edmonton, Canada. It is eight blocks of unrestrained creativity with around 450 artists and craftspeople - Graffiti, pop, surrealism, art nouveau, impressionism, and just plain cool looking items. Festival producer, and owner of the Paint Spot, Kim Fjordbotten, has been there since the beginning in 1995. In its 22nd year, Art Walk brings waves of symbolic communication of imagination in the public realm. The Edmonton Journal said “Kim deserves credit for institutionalizing, coordinating and making possible something our bylaws-obsessed local reality would otherwise instinctively stand in the way of in the name of law and boredom.”

Encouragement and opportunity are a big part of what draws crowds and artists to the festival. Artists usually have to turn to either the online storefront, or just hope for a gallery show, Art Walk provides a space for everyone to equally display the fruits of their labour.

Kim hopes someday Art Walk won’t just be for a weekend in July, but for the entire summer. She makes a strong case – “It’s an important part of the community. It takes the art from out of the studios and the closets and the garden sheds and brings both the work and the artists to where the people are. I call myself a mother bear sometimes, because I think art often gets relegated to frivolous or looked at as the first thing we can cut because it’s not that important. For those of us in the arts to articulate why it is important is really hard. People see it as it’s nice, or it’s enjoyable, or it’s stress relieving. To me, it’s the cornerstone of our society.”

In June, ACTÍVA Products, Inc. and the Michelson Museum of Art collaborated to bring free art education summer camp classes to children in the Marshall, Texas area.

Local artist Audrey Lozano taught students in Grades 1-3 how to make simple sculptures, masks, and sand art; introducing them to art materials many had not used before. Creativity blossomed as the children discovered innovative ways of using colored sand, plaster cloth, and air-dry clay to make beautiful works of art. 

ACTÍVA says they are proud to sponsor art education and advocacy efforts.

Also at Sculpture House, Mr. Barrie and Louise Deck, Operations Administrator, have been supporting and advocating for traditional Native American arts stone sculpture ever since they were contacted in 2016 by Brendon Albers of First People Fund. Mr. Albers requested sculpting stone for his high school, so he could teach the students native stone sculpture techniques, giving them ties to their past and hope for their future. The response has been overwhelming and delightful. Sculpture House has since shipped over 3,000 pounds of alabaster, soapstone and tools to the Lakota Eagle Butte High School in South Dakota, along with ceramic clay and tools to the art department at the high school to encourage the art of ceramics. 

Bruner and Louise said the smiles and success of the students involved is the most gratifying feeling! 

Jessica Dumitru, owner of Art Creations, hosted The Artist Seven (Eric Finley) and the Burnin' Bridges Street Festival at her store in Chattanooga, Tennessee this past June. Seven, and three fellow urban artists, painted the back parking lot walls - making the store's location a destination to view local street art. 

Seven obtained a grant through ArtsBuild, a local non-profit, and Art Creations sponsored the event by providing the space for the murals and by donating cans of Montana spray paint to the artists.  

Jessica said, "We are very proud of the artist's work and love supporting our local urban artists!"    

Each Summer, the Strathmore Artist Paper Create More, Share More program selects a few local art-related events to give away free art materials and a pad to each person that stops by the Strathmore table. The goal is to bring more art to their local community, inspire more people to get their creative juices flowing, and encourage people to share the gift of their art or art materials, and just do a random act of kindness.

Strathmore hopes to inspire random acts of artistic kindness in the community by giving the gift of your art or art materials to someone who would appreciate it, and they encourage people to tell them about what they made with their art supplies or who they shared them with using #CreateMoreShareMore!

Watch video from last year's Create More, Share More event. 

In March, Tombow USA and Art Supply Warehouse collaborated to bring free art education and demos to the general public in California at the third annual Arty Gras Event.

Tombow's Alana Yarbrough taught live demonstrations, and free interactive handlettering and watercolor demonstrations to the many attendees that visited their booth. Alana creates beautiful hand lettered notes of encouragement & hope in her free time, and was happy to show that anyone with enough practice and patience can create beautiful hand-lettering, and experience the joy of creating beautiful hand-lettered works of art should be shared with all.

Gallery On The Go recently supported Youth Art Month in March with an Emoji Painting Party and donated $1 for every Emoji painting to DonorsChoose.org to buy art supplies for schools in need. They did a similar promotion last year and raised $500 allowing them to fund 5 classroom requests!

Founded in 2000 by a high school teacher in the Bronx, NY, DonorsChoose.org empowers public school teachers from across the country to request much-needed materials and experiences for their students.

NAMTA's Partners in Art