I knew pretty early in life that I would pursue a career in something related to visual art. Whether it was drawing banners or building crafts as a kid, I was always pretty artsy-fartsy. I identified and thrived in this area because I was exposed to it and given the opportunity in school and at home to be as artistic as I could.  I was lucky. Not every kid has those opportunities.

Research shows the arts offer benefits far beyond creativity — they increase productivity and focus, they boost confidence, teach problem-solving and so much more. Regardless of their benefits, budgets and curriculums in our public schools make it difficult for our children to be exposed to visual and performing art.

So when our team started thinking about what local organizations we wanted to support this holiday season it was only natural that I thought of something that has had an impact on me personally.  I’ve had the pleasure of working hand in hand with Arts in Education NEPA, a partnership organization of The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and NEIU 19. Their mission is to advocates for arts education in schools and communities. They administer quality learning experiences in the performing and visual arts.

 

The most widely known AIE NEPA program, Arts Alive, is celebrating their 26th year this summer. Arts Alive pairs professional working artists and students in grades K-12 for four intensive weeks each summer. And the outcome is nothing short of remarkable.  They create a safe space where no one feels like an outsider and anything is possible. Students self-esteem skyrockets and the boost in confidence trickles through all of their studies improving their grades and attitudes with lifelong lessons they will take with them throughout the year.

What’s even more remarkable is the effect these programs have on children with more serious needs. I’ve personally met autistic children who entered the program as a nonverbal student and have found their voice through Arts Alive… literally and figuratively.

 

Support of AIE NEPA provides scholarships and transportation to students that otherwise wouldn’t have access to quality educational art programs.

 

Show your support for the arts and build a virtual gingerbread house for AIE NEPA!

Join the Posture House Party now through December 31st and share your house on social media with #PostureHouseParty to vote for AIE NEPA as the winner of our grand prize — a cash donation plus design and digital support totaling $5,000!

Start building here.

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