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KingsportARTS: An investment in the arts is an investment in the community

Katherine Scoggins • Feb 25, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Since 1968, Kingsport’s arts have been coordinated and promoted by the Arts Council of Greater Kingsport, a 501 (c ) 3 non-profit organization. In 2010, the Arts Council changed its name to KingsportARTS, to reflect a more contemporary energy in coordinating the wide spectrum of arts activities.

Cathie Faust, executive director, and Tina Radtke, arts education director, plus a board of directors and active group of volunteers, oversee a very ambitious and diverse community arts program.

At a time when many schools are cutting back on or totally eliminating arts education, the greater Kingsport area is very fortunate to have such programs available to children, students, teens and educators, much of it at low or no cost to the participants. Programs are made possible by grants from the Tennessee Arts Commission, Kingsport Community Foundation, East Tennessee Foundation, fundraisers, corporate sponsors and nominal program fees.

"One of the most valuable services KingsportARTS provides is in-services to area teachers," said Radtke. "These allow even the most rural districts to provide their teachers with opportunities for continued education in arts integration while focused on Common Core standards."

ART We Talented is a weekday morning program for children ages 18 months to 5 years of age and their parent or guardian. These one-hour workshops are held once a month during the school year and consist of arts workshops for young children that help develop cognitive thought through hands-on activities. Students learn early skills needed for Kindergarten, all through the arts (visual, dance, music and theatre).

Arts4Kids offers a monthly arts program throughout the school year (August-May) for children ages 6 to 12. Sessions are held at the Renaissance Center and are two hours long. They feature hands-on and interactive sessions presented and led by professional artists and/or arts educators. Arts4Kids is open to all children who reside in the greater Kingsport area and the surrounding counties.

K.E.Y.P.A.D. is a teens only art workshop offered once a month that focuses on arts in the real world.

KingsportARTS Summer Enrichment Camps are week-long camps encompassing a variety of the arts and offered to age groups from preschool to high school.

"Each year, these camps have a different theme," said Radtke. "In 2011, students learned about Leonardo Da Vinci and his impact on the academic as well as the arts world. This year’s theme will be ‘Renaissance Around the World.’ Registration will begin in March and run through early May."

If you are interested in helping provide much needed funding for these programs, join KingsportARTS for its upcoming fundraiser, "1950s Hollywood - Black & White Party." Schmooze with Marilyn and Frank, "flash your cash" at the Silent Auction, and croon along with the Brat Pack, from 6 to 10 p.m., Friday, March 1, in the Renaissance Center Second Floor Atrium, Gallery and Room 239. Tickets are $30 per person in advance or $35 at the door, and can be purchased by calling 423-392-8420.

KingsportARTS will launch its exciting re-designed website (www.kingsportARTS.org) in April.

Visit the website to learn more about upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, "wish list" items, partnerships, and how you can get involved. Can’t wait for the revamped website? Contact the KingsportARTS office at 423-392-8420.

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