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Over 1,500 Watauga K-4 Students to Receive Free Art Kits from BRAHM & Kennedy-Herterich Foundation Next Week

This coming week over 1,500 kindergarten, first, second, third, and fourth graders from all eight Watauga County Elementary Schools will receive a wonderful surprise. 

Thanks to the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum (BRAHM) and the generosity of the Kennedy-Herterich Foundation, and other donors, students will receive a free art supply kit during their public school materials pick-up. Each kit contains colored sulphite papers, glue, scissors, crayon, brushes, heavyweight drawing paper, and a packet of collage inspiration lessons created by BRAHM’s Education Center Director, Jennifer Garonzik.

This winter art kit was inspired by the success of an art kit donation from BRAHM last April for grades K-2. These kits were delivered shortly after the initial shut down of public schools for in- person learning, at the onset of the coronavirus. Families were surveyed after that project, and many indicated their children did not have similar supplies available for making collage art. These kits will be given to all K-4 students, both virtually and in-person. These kits provide materials and lesson inspiration for six new collage projects, with enough materials to complete several additional projects. Teachers are welcome to use the enclosed lessons with students either virtually or in-person. Some of the lessons have additional video instructions on the BRAHM website which may be accessed freely. BRAHM will also have these art kits available, free of charge, for any local homeschool students in these grades. Please contact Jennifer@BlowingRockMuseum.org to arrange for pick up for homeschool students.

Garonzik, and BRAHM Executive Director Lee Carol Giduz, approached the Kennedy-Herterich Foundation to sponsor this project. The foundation was also generous in providing funding for the spring art kits. Additional funding was made available for this project by BRAHM members Miriam and Steve Kimsey, and Ms. Clyde Williams. These donations funded the cost of materials for this project, and BRAHM volunteers supported the BRAHM staff in planning, assembling, and distributing the kits to the schools. 

The kits contain 6 art history inspired collage art prompts. Each prompt uses art history as a springboard for creative projects. Families can also find additional age-appropriate art lessons through the museum’s website which now features a variety of digital content related to the Visual Arts for kids of all ages through their BRAHM at Home program <https://www.blowingrockmuseum.org/athome/category/Youth+Engagement>. 

Garonzik says, “I encourage entire families to get in on the creative time — this is a possibility to open dialogue and foster connection, as well as a great stress reliever. Forget your troubles for a few minutes by creating an expressive collage alongside your child.”  For youth specific content, families can visit BlowingRockMuseum.org to find instructional videos, digital youth art galleries, artist inspiration, and more.

Families may share reactions to receiving the materials by tagging #BRAHMatHome and @BRmuseum on social media. Families are also encouraged to complete a Google Form <http://tinyurl.com/BrahmKitSurvey> to provide feedback on the materials and lesson ideas.

Follow BRAHM at Home on the web and through social media for weekly art lessons with “Ms. Jennifer.” And once in-person lessons are back in action, families are encouraged to register for Afternoon Art, Doodlebug Club, and other youth programs at BRAHM. Family membership at the $75 level entitles families to free youth programs year round. If you would like to join BRAHM and donors like the Kennedy-Herterich Foundation and other donors in supporting art outreach for area youth, please consider a donation to BRAHM by giving through BlowingRockMuseum.org/support or calling 828-295-9099.