Next school year a professional artist will step into the classroom at Flynn Elementary School in Eau Claire thanks to a generous donation from an Eastside Hill couple. The donors have created an endowment fund with the Eau Claire Public School Foundation to support a local artist who will teach and guide students for one semester per year.
“With our strong budget, parent participation, and the (Artist-in-Classroom) fundraiser, we could continue the AIC program for 20 years if we wanted.” – Chad Frase, Flynn Elementary School art teacher
Donors Mitchell and Liz Spencer are art enthusiasts. Mitchell Spencer, a retired UW-Stout professor specializing in architecture, noticed the art program at Flynn was slightly lacking. As art teacher Chad Frase explained, “We have a strong budget for art supplies, but there wasn’t enough money to take the kids on field trips or do bonus art” – i.e., ancillary or special art projects. The Spencers came to the rescue, donating $10,000 to create the Artist-in-Classroom program. “With our strong budget, parent participation, and the AIC fundraiser” – more on that later – “we could continue the AIC program for 20 years if we wanted,” Frase said.
The AIC program is targeted towards fourth and fifth graders, who will be able to learn from their very own Picasso, Michelangelo, or O’Keefe. The artist will be able to choose projects, whether they be jewelry, abstract art, pottery, or photography – there are no limits when it comes to creation.
Here’s the kicker: The artist hasn’t been chosen yet. Applicants will go through a “Call for Artist” process, and the final selection will be made by the current art teacher and another person unconnected with the Eau Claire Public School Foundation. If you have a passion for the arts and are willing to share your experiences with eager elementary students, fill out an application online. Go to www.ecasd.us/Flynn-Elementary/Home and look for the link under the “News & Announcements” heading. Applications are due Sept. 15, and the selected artist will be notified on or about Oct. 16.
Flynn would like to raise funds to have an artist in the classroom all year as well as for years to come. You can make a donation online at ecpsfound.org/make-donation/ or learn more by contacting Sarah French of the Eau Claire Public Schools foundation at (715)-852-3015 or firstname.lastname@example.org.