There’s A Story To Be Told About Community Of Pride — It Starts With The Kids At Emlen.

There is a story to be told, and it’s unfolding at Eleanor C. Emlen School, a public school with lack of access to the arts. A public school where the children are guaranteed one meal a day, where many kids walk to school. But dreams are happening and possibilities are being introduced as the children immerse themselves in the creativity of the visual arts, (performing arts an unexpected bonus), while we add on the critical literacy component in Phase 2. Hope and opportunity, along with pride and tears of joy and celebration, are opening new doors — led by artists from the Mt. Airy Art Garage (MAAG), teachers from Emlen, an inspired principal, Ms. Tammy Thomas, and, of course, the most amazing class of 4th and 5th grade kids ever.

The first word is children, the next word is pride, followed by creativity and making dreams happen. Year 1 of the Community of Pride (COP) Mural Project has been a year of exploration — talking, drawing, creating unique personal artwork incorporating self pride, family pride, and community pride. Finding artistic safe space that is accepting and creative. But even more… the stories:

· Denise Veronick, Emlen lead teacher, during the mural dedication: “We didn’t pick the best students (to be in the COP Project). We didn’t pick those with the highest grades or best attendance. We chose the ones we felt needed it the most, would be impacted the most, would affect their lives the most. I learned many important lessons. First, everyone is an artist in their own way. Everyone loves when another appreciates their work. These kids were brave and, in the end, reaped the benefits of putting themselves out there.

The group that came together to create this mural couldn’t have been more diverse. With our common goal in mind and our various abilities on display we created a beautiful and meaningful work of art. This is not something that happens in the School District of Philadelphia. This may have been a once in a lifetime opportunity for these young people. They learned to work with people who are very different from them. We shared a mutual respect for our differences. Even though I think we all witnessed the great learning opportunities throughout our time together, I can’t help but think of the lessons these students will take with them into their futures.”

· Touissant: “Toussaint came to Emlen as a 4th grader in the Autistic Support class. He was quiet and seemed to defer to the slightly older and slightly bolder children. In fact, I rarely heard him speak. I chose Toussaint to participate in this project as a 5th grader because of his artistic ability. When he put his mind to a project he saw it through to the end. He put all he had into his drawings, using every bit of space on the paper and using color like a pro.

As the project got started we watched Toussaint bloom into a whole new person. His confidence grew before our eyes. He made friends with a few students finding shared interests such as football and Pokemon. He was actually having full conversations, but that was only one example of his confidence. One class period we were going over a Powerpoint that consisted of words and pictures. When asked for a volunteer to read Toussaint’s hand shot up. (I knew he could not read all the words but he wanted to try.) He stood proudly and read the words out loud as I whispered them to him. He was able to put himself out there because he trusted the group to not make fun of him. He took a giant step in his social confidence that day. Plus he ended up selling his original framed piece.”  — Denise Veronick, teacher.
·  Ishaaq: “Ishaaq came to Emlen for 5th grade. He was a student with limited academic ability and many behavior problems. The first few months of school his teacher complained that he did no school work — all he did was draw all day. We later found out that he couldn’t do the work so he did what he did best, draw.

Whenever Ishaaq came to work on the mural he had perfect behavior and worked harder than anyone else. He had found his niche at Emlen School. His two drawings were a prominent part of the mural. Had he not been a part of this group I fear the growth we saw in June would not have happened. He carried himself with pride, his behavior was completely turned around and his school work was getting done. I saw him the morning of his 5th Grade Move Up Ceremony, he was bursting with pride and looking forward to getting awards in front of his classmates. (I gave him an Art Award and his teacher gave him a Most Improved Award)” — Denise Veronick, teacher.

Celebratory breakfast honoring the participants at Emlen for Mural Dedication Day.

· Naomi: Naomi showed she had a flair for showing what pride meant to her. She drew a picture of her uncle who is a firefighter along with his fire truck. She spoke about how proud she and her family are of her uncle. She also drew an excellent picture of a hip-hop dancer. This drawing captured the attention from an adult who wanted to own this drawing. They negotiated a price, discussed time spent and value, Naomi signed her work, and both walked away happy.

· Mom, crying at mural dedication: “I am so happy that my child is going to Emlen. Thank you so much for doing this.”

And yet, there was more… what we lovingly refer to as the “icing on the cake”:

MAAGs exhibition of “Having Our Say” at PTC! Kids are loving every minute.

· Free tickets and a bus to see “Having Our Say” at the Philadelphia Theater Company (PTC) was a highlight. Thank you PTC for your partnership with MAAG! Most of the students had never been to see a live play. They were all dressed up and on their best behavior. They made us all proud! And at the end of the performance they all got to see MAAGs art exhibition in the gallery. Even better, one child texted her Mom during the entire show — it was her first time ever going to a live performance in a theatre. And Mom said, for her daughter’s birthday, they were next going to see “Wicked,” and we were sworn to secrecy!

For most of these kids, it was their first time for live theatre. And they turned it out! Proud of YOU!

· Art At City Hall student showcase: A special invitation from the Philadelphia Office of Arts and Culture to showcase the work of the children from the COP Mural Project where art is making a difference in the community. Exhibition runs from August 7 – Sept. 29 with the reception on Wed., Sept. 27 in Rm 116.

Hip Hop Girl — SOLD!

· Young artists selling their work: We never saw it coming. Framed original artwork, ready to go to City Hall, were all over the COP artroom. Two students sold their work. So, next year, part of the program will involve framing all artwork, creating their own artists bio’s, with sale prices attached. In short, curating and selling their work!

So, you may ask, what’s next? We can barely contain ourselves we are just that excited. As children chase the teachers and principal at Emlen to be in Phase 2 starting this September, we proudly announce we are adding a literacy component. You will be hearing more about the Community of Pride Mural and Literacy Project.

Just know this. Maybe, just maybe, you may be able to attend Emlen’s “Welcome Back to School” night on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 5:15 pm. Mt Airy Art Garage will be launching Phase 2 and featuring Arielle Baril (now 14 years old) who will be telling her story and singing for the entire school. Don’t know who she is? Well, check this out, and believe that you WILL want to be at Emlen on that night.

Stay tuned. There’s so much more going on. You won’t want to miss a thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Been A Roller Coaster Of A Year

We’ve explored gender with students at Moore College of Art in our International Women’s Day Celebration. We were honored to have the first citywide showing of My Son Matters! — a photo exhibition by Denise Allen that explored stereotypes and racism with positive imagery. We touched our community to make it a better place for children and elders with the Make Art Grow Food Project. More collaborations, more exhibitions, a small dream growing.

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(c) Michael Albany

Then we were faced with the dilemma of needing to find a new home. Unexpected challenges, momentary detours. We want to tell you, with smiles on our faces, that the Mt. Airy Art Garage will continue to grow in Mt. Airy.
 
We hope to have an exciting announcement next month about new partnerships and new beginnings. We know in our hearts that none of this would have happened  without your support.MAAG_Wall_Mural-001
 
We’re more experienced this time around. We’ve had successes beyond our wildest expectations. Each challenge has strengthened us and shown us that not only do we have community support, but there is a real need to continue this work.
 
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(c) Van Williams

Thank you for your continued support and confidence in our work, and all the appreciation you show.
 
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year.
 
Sincerely,
 
Linda Slodki & Arleen Olshan
Relationships#10_LydiaNobles

(c) Lydia Nobles

 

 

The Mt. Airy Art Garage Launches A Campaign To Find A New Home

Doors Michael After-004

We have something important to share with you—our members, fellow artists, friends, supporters, our Northwest Community. Our lease will expire August 31, 2016, and unexpectedly, we have not been granted the option to renew it.

This means that, as we look toward next year, the Mt. Airy Art Garage will need to find a new home. It’s a big challenge—one we have every intention of meeting, with your support.

Just in 2015 alone, we engaged in more socially engaged art projects and creative thinking than ever before—My Son Matters!, the Gender Weave Project with Moore College, Make Art Grow Food , and a host of events, concerts, classes and gallery exhibitions. 2016 will see a city-wide quilt and fiber show. There will be more music, more murals and rain barrels, and more community projects. And that’s just for starters.

So we will be launching a major campaign to help us find a new home and for paid staff. With your help and commitment, together, we can do this.

Please Mark Your Calendars and Join Us

·      Community & Member Meeting, Thursday, Aug. 20, 7 pm at MAAG. Next steps.

·      ArtBash, Sat., Sept. 19, 6 pm featuring James Dupree, Music with Dena Underwood

Here’s What You Can Do Right Now To Help

·      Join or renew your membership

·      Make a donation.

·      Come to the community meeting where we will layout projections and next steps.

Fundraisers? Marketing mavens, video artists, word noodlers, connectors? Strategic planners? Realty lawyers and realtors? Accountants? Admins? Architects? We need you all now. Lend us your skills.  Step up and volunteer. Let’s push ahead into this new phase together.

We know we can forge through this and move forward.

Linda Slodki, President and Cofounder

 

 

 

 

Art Really Does Change Everything…What A Great Year!

Nice setup for food and drinkThanks To All For Your Ongoing Support!
In five years we’ve seen pop-up’s, build-outs, completion of
the Solomon Levy Gallery, studio rentals, classes, Artists’ Garage Sales,
Annual Art Auctions, Rain Barrel Projects, exhibitions, musical performances, and much more. All with your support! Let’s keep dreaming together.
KathyRobinson WEB

(c) Kathy Robinson

  Big News! We want to inform you of our latest hurdle and achievement! We are now proud to announce that MAAG is a standalone nonprofit registered with both the state and IRS as a tax-exempt 501c3. We can now forge ahead with grants previously closed to us. We want to thank Mt. Airy Community Services Corporation for being our fiscal sponsor. It’s been a wonderful partnership, and we couldn’t have gotten this far without their support and experience.
Long-Awaited Expansion
We expect our nonprofit status this will impact us in new ways, some of them still uncharted. We know we’ll need our own accountant and insurance policies. We’ll begin to staff our organization with salaried personnel. So, for starters, we want to expand our board with business experts who have a love of the arts. If this challenge excites you (as it does us), please send your resume to info@mtairyartgarage.org or call us at 215.242.5074.Gallery Rental-Sized
 
Support MAAG’s Annual Fund
We’re also asking you to support the Mt Airy Art Garage with an end-of-year donation to our Annual Fund. Every gift you give ensures we can continue to expand. 2015 will include a special “Grow Food/Make Art” intergenerational project MAAG is leading with Houston School, Homelink’s Elder Community, Earth Bread & Brewery, and other community partners focusing on creating art murals, nutrition, and sustainability. We are also partnering with Moore College for a special exhibition at MAAG, during Women’s History Month, called the “Gender Weave Project.” Photo Clubs, Writers’ Clubs, The Swerve, musical performances, classes, Quiltapalooza’s…these are only the beginning. And your support makes all the difference. Become a member (if you haven’t already) or make a tax-deductible donation to our Annual Fund. Please donate now.
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Art Really Does Change Everything
We are humbled and filled with joy knowing we continue down the right road. Thanks to all who have donated their time and financial support, who appreciate, who create, who continue to dream with us. It is truly a life changer. So stay tuned, as we forge into 2015. There’s one thing you can count on. It’s going to be an exciting year ahead.IMG_5393-1
 
 
 
 

Art of the Quilt, Call for Artists…Deadline Jan. 31

flyerOpen Call for Artists

ART OF THE QUILT:

UNFOLDING OUR STORIES

Show Dates: February 28-April 25, 2014
Submission Deadline: January 31, 2014

The Mt. Airy Art Garage (MAAG) invites Quilt Artists to submit work for a juried show celebrating the art of the quilt.

Quilts fall into many categories, including but not limited to traditional, contemporary, modern and art quilts.  Regardless of genre, each quilt is the material and visual expression of the maker’s vision and creativity.  The goal of this show is to celebrate the many forms of the quilt as art.  Whatever your level, you have a story.

MAAG is a community based, non-profit member arts center featuring artists from Northwest Philadelphia.  The show is open to members and non-members.  

Download both the Entry Requirements and Artist Entry Form below. You can also submit your jurying fee with PayPal (bottom of the page) or mail your check with your application.

For more information, visit www.mtairyartgarage.org or call 215.242.5074. 

Entry Requirements

Artists Entry Form

 

 


MAAG Quilt Show Fees