COLORADO SPRINGS — In recent years, many school districts have had to make the difficult choice to cut art programs due to budget cuts and federal academic priorities that are more focused on math and English achievement. With art linked to improved mental health and overall well-being, The Fine Arts Center's Bemis School of Art offers ways for the entire community to reap the benefits.
Tara Sevanne-Thomas says art became her outlet as a teenager, “I dropped out of school, I was really struggling. Drawing and painting started to help me process things.” Now as the director of Bemis School of Art in Colorado Springs, Tara helps open that door to our community.
The Fine Arts Center’s Bemis School of Art has a Wounded Warriors and Military Artistic Healing program. They offer classes ranging from music and painting, to wheel throwing with passion, learning, and stress relief in mind.
The year-round facility welcomes kids as young as six. Linda Sagastume is an instructor vital to this age group. She explains the life skills art brings, “Problem solving. Every time we make a piece, we get to this place and the colors aren’t working and it’s not right so we have to problem-self and work through it.” Bemis fall schedule is open for registration.
Using found objects, words, acrylic paint, and charcoal, Sagastume creates journal pages and paintings from an intuitive place and says, “I want them to build confidence in their abilities and open up a world of culture.”
According to the Department of Education students involved in the arts are twiceas likely to graduate college and show higher rates in literacy and math.
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