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Beline Obeid

Art center gets grant

Children show off their artwork in the front row from left are Nathan Raymant, Ray Li, Melissa Vendal, Sunny Verlinden, Ethan Rothenbuhler, Joseph Trowern and Roo Wiley; in the second row from left, Rocco Tedesco McNutt, Kate Wozniak, Chloe Valentic and Riley Lynch; third row from left, Megan Wiley, Kaley MacLeod, Cinderella Ksebati, Annelies Ondersma, Olyvia Shimko, Sarah Vendal, Natalie Liening, Jeffrey Valentic and Leticia Hernandez and in the back row from left, Reed Boeckler, Maren Prophit, Hala Besmar, Katie Knuth, Gabrielle Shimko, Madelyn McCullen and Joshua Lewis. Photo by Renee Landuyt    
June 12, 2008
The Grosse Pointe Art Center will expand its art education program with a $10,000 grant from the Alice Kales Hartwick Foundation.

The late Alice Kales Hartwick was a noted artist and music lover from Grosse Pointe, who established the foundation to support the arts in southeastern Michigan.

"We were very pleased to receive this grant," said Susan Macdonald, center director. "It will help us get our program off the ground, with the goal of being self-sufficient within a year. There is a great demand for our classes, especially our children's classes, which are very popular with both kids and parents.

"We're also receiving more and more requests for classes from both working adults and senior citizens. This grant will help us meet that demand."

An art education committee has already been formed by the center, headed by Carole Beach, an instructor at The Center for Creative Studies. The committee has been tasked with establishing curriculum and recruiting instructors.

"The grant money will be used to purchase supplies and pay teachers and staff," said Macdonald. "We're already limited because our quarters are a bit tight, but this grant will help us meet the growing demand for art classes."

Macdonald noted the children's art classes, which serve students ages 6 to 13, are very popular.

"The kids love the classes. I think it's because there is no pressure for a grade like there is in school art classes. The classes are fun, and are a great outlet for some kids, just as sports are for others.

"At the elementary school level, they have art classes on average about five times a month. That's barely an hour per week, which is really not much time, especially for those children who enjoy art. And by the time they're in sixth grade, it's an elective."

The adult classes are popular as well.

"We have many requests for evening and weekend classes for working adults," said Macdonald. "We frequently have graduate students approach us, wanting to teach a class. This grant will help us accommodate many of these requests."

The grant to the Grosse Pointe Art Center was one of several made by the Alice Kales Hartwick Foundation. Other recipients this year are the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Symphony and the Center for Creative Studies.

To be grouped with such organizations was not lost on Macdonald.

"We all went through the same application process," she said. "And we received word back from the foundation that they were very impressed with our work."

The Grosse Pointe Art Center, located at 15001 Kercheval in Grosse Pointe Park, serves as a gallery and exhibition space for the Grosse Pointe Artists Association. For more information, contact Macdonald at (313) 821-1848.

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