2015 Theme: Art is Everywhere. Director Tina-Marie Lasha: TAT Lab teaching artist, certified teacher, and owner/artist of Artistic Accents Decorative Painting and Advertising Art, in collaboration with the Yakima Valley Museum, Larson Gallery, Yakima Arts Commission, Maker Space, and the Yakima Parks Dept.
We are a traveling arts classroom, staffed by trained working artists and certified teachers. We offer our classes and projects free for the participating children. We also strive to integrate STEM and literacy activities with our art offerings. (STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) As we grow our summer activities, our goal is to offer two classes per day, five days a week in area parks, as well as the concert series, and individual events around the valley.
We currently offer free art projects to area children and families during local concert series in parks and downtown Yakima. The series targeted are the Thursday evening Downtown Summer Nights, the Friday night at Franklin Park, and the Sunday afternoon Latino music at Miller Park.
There is interest in an after school arts club/program for a local school, and several individual event holders have asked us to come provide our arts opportunity at their events. The Yakima Farmers Market and the Folklife Festival are two other events we are hoping to include in the future.
Watching a child lose themselves in the process of creating their artwork is an extremely delightful, joyous, and gratifying moment. Even the most initially timid children can relax and let their ideas develop as they explore the project. During family events, it's also great fun to watch as parents and children interact and collaborate on creating art. Parents encourage their children and the children beam with pride in showing off what they have made. The opportunity to make something uniquely theirs is invaluable.
Creativity and self-expression are a vital part of children’s development. Too often, these elements are eliminated from school programs at significant times during their growth. Also, our target areas include populations that may not have access to a variety of arts materials in their homes. Numerous research studies confirm and validate the important role arts education has to play in skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration, as well as showing a correlation between arts education and increased strength in math, literacy, and other core subjects. Discipline and improved social skills are also products of involvement in the arts.
Recently, we were gifted with our very own van! I am so excited to see it and begin to customize the interior to hold all of our art supplies and materials, tables, banners and everything we need to travel around the area and teach art. We have some supplies acquired from the defunct Arts Van, other tools acquired over the last several years, and we receive donations from the community when specific needs arise. Your donations can get and keep us rolling!