free arts Volunteer News March 2011

"It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process." ~Max Eastman


Thoughts from jill-


Mentor painting with child

Beyond enjoying the regular rewards of being a Free Arts volunteer, I have always wanted to encourage and support others to be even more involved with the organization.  Becoming a part of the Mentor to Mentor Committee has provided me with an opportunity to have discussions with like-minded mentors.  We are focusing on what is needed for greater quality of service and community support for both Free Arts kids and their mentors.  Each member of this newly developed team is passionate about striving towards a positive and impactful Free Arts experience for every individual involved.

As expected, discussions between passionate, driven volunteers produce numerous great ideas, including:  the Sponsor a Mentor initiative, new training insights, and engaging events that will enhance our role as volunteers.  We meet monthly to answer the many questions that arise: How can we support and openly appreciate our dedicated art mentor volunteers? Is there a way we can all help each other as part of the Free Arts Community? What resources can be provided to mentors in need of more training, ideas, and discussion? How can we, as central components of this great organization, be advocates for the Free Arts mission?

The Mentor to Mentor Committee continues to work on solutions and currently, we are offering volunteers free workshops with art project ideas and mentoring tips, networking opportunities, The Free Arts Experience Blog.   We are all proud to be serving as members and are dedicated to acting as a resource for other volunteers in the service of enrichment, community building and assisting Free Arts Minnesota in outreach.

Join us this spring - online or in person - and share your Free Arts experience!

Jill Eckhoff-King

BIg Thanks!

This month, we would like to thank Lindsey Woulett-Anderson for her help with the Mentor Workshop. Lindsey did a fantastic job planning, prepping, and presenting a project to share with the other mentors that attended. With her help we were able to create a workshop that was beneficial and informative!


Also, a big thanks goes out to our Mentor to Mentor Committee. They have been hard at work planning many events for the Free Arts mentors. Their efforts are making events such as, workshops, Mentor Happy Hour, and Volunteer Appreciation possible throughout the session!


Our featured project this month uses Andy Warhol and pop art for inspiration. Pop artCelebrity Pop Art is a great project to do with teenagers, but may work with younger ages too depending on the skill level of the group. It is a great way to introduce the kids to another form of art and grab their attention by using celebrities. Find the curriculum by clicking here!


Our Community

Free Arts Days

In April we will be having two Free Arts Days. The first will be on Saturday, April 9th at People Serving People sponsored by the Free Arts Board of Directors. The second will be the following Saturday on April 16th at Mary’s Place sponsored by the Junior League of Minneapolis. We will be sending out email invitations for both events, but please save the dates! Remember that Free Arts Days are a great way to introduce people to our organization and get them interested in volunteering with us!


Events for mentors

We hope you will join us for some more fun mentor events we have coming up (planned by the Mentor to Mentor Committee!). On Sunday March 27th, we will be having a Mentor Happy Hour at Chatterbox in Highland Park from 3:00-5:00pm. This will be a great opportunity for the mentors to get together, play some games, and relax on a Sunday afternoon. On Saturday May 21st from 4:00-6:00pm we will be having a Volunteer Appreciation event. Mark your calendars- more details to come!


Our March Mentor Workshop was a huge success! This workshop highlighted the importance of rituals and routines in Free Arts sessions as well as great ideas for projects. There was also great discussion between mentors about their weekly mentorship experiences. Through the event, mentors were able to learn new ways to reach the children and how to make it meaningful.



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Mentor TIPs

Just a reminder that the session is scheduled to run through the last week in May. Can you believe we are halfway done!? It is important to start thinking about what your group wants to do for your last session. Plan a fun way to celebrate Free Arts and wrap up the program together!

We have quite a bit of foam core board in our supply closet at the office. Come in and get some for an art project! Great for signs, posters, and collaborative projects.  Contact Hannah or Esther if you want to come in and get any supplies!

With the weather getting warmer out (finally!) the kids in your group may be interested in doing a project that is outdoors. Remember that each facility may have different rules regarding going outside. Check with the staff at your site to find out the specifics about taking the children outside for a Free Arts session.

Arts advocacy day

March 8th, 2011 marked the 24th Annual Arts Advocacy day at the State Capitol. This national event brings together a broad cross-section of America’s cultural and civic organizations, along with hundreds of grassroots advocates from across the country, to underscore the importance of developing strong public policies and appropriate increased public funding for the arts. This year, Volunteer Coordinator Esther Callahan went to represent Free Arts MN by spending the day meeting with representatives and senators. sharing the Free Arts story and why funding for the arts is so important. After all, the arts are about “making meaning.” Please consider joining the advocation for the arts (via letters or virtually through social media to your local state representatives and senators) by making a statement that the arts and arts education will not be cut or eliminated without a fight. arts advocacy