Georgia fine arts center working to make arts accessible to those in need

Published: Oct. 25, 2023 at 5:23 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - One week immersed in art projects, music, and dance can make for an unforgettable experience for a child.

“It is an amazing place to go. You can learn how to do art, do sculptures, go on adventures, and sing too,” said 8-year-old Alyssa Walker.

Fifty students, grades three through five, from Cedar Grove Elementary School in Ellenwood took part in a week-long fine arts program at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center.

“Cedar Grove is a Title I school. We are in south Dekalb County. We have over 90% of our students who are on free and reduced lunch. The poverty level in this area is pretty high,” said Norman Thomas with Cedar Grove Elementary.

The community arts center focuses on art education. They teach everything from blacksmithing to painting and have done what they can to make art accessible to as many people as possible — immigrants and refugees, people transitioning out of homelessness, veterans and kids in need.

“It is joy. It is also the opportunity to discover other ways to express themselves. One thing I love about art is you can take a mistake and with creativity, learn how to take that mistake and turn it into a masterpiece. I think that is what our students are doing,” said Thomas.

Their new mission is to expand those programs.

“We want to share it with as many people as we possibly can,” said Andrew Keenan.

For more information about the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center or to find out how you can support them, visit their website. To learn more about the center’s history, click here.