The Year in Review 2011

The After School Arts Program has many reasons to celebrate at the close of this year. Here are some highlights:

  • ASAP Studios in the three regular sessions included Photography, Painting, Drawing, Handbell Choir, Ceramics, Screen Printing, Dramatic Storytelling, Mixed Media, Playwriting and Performance, Drawing Comics, Beat Blast (Percussion), Spoken-Word Poetry, and Culinary Arts.
  • ASAP hosted its third annual Summer Arts Camp with a record number of children participating in Drawing, Painting, Dance and Drumming, and Mascot / Giant Puppet making.
  • ASAP donated the giant puppet created at Summer Arts Camp to Evelyn K. Davis Park to be used as the park mascot. The “Davis Eagle” has a painted papier-màché head and rip-stop nylon body, wings, and tail with hand-colored feathers. It takes four people to carry the mascot when it is “in flight.”
  • Special features of Summer Arts Camp were a live eagle and her handler, Kay Neuman of Save Our Avian Resources (SOAR), and a day with Ralph Moisa Jr. of the Yaqui nation, founder of the White Eagle Pow Wow.
  • This spring, Attorneys Fred Schneider, William Stiles, William Serangeli, Ron Mountsier, and Amy Plummer, of the Dickinson Law Firm, commissioned ASAP’s painting students to create two major paintings for the firm’s corporate collection. The two works were dedicated at ASAP’s closing reception in May, and installed in the law offices in July.
  • ASAP sent two students on full scholarship to the ArtsLIVE summer camp at the Des Moines Social Club. Two fifth-graders were selected to receive the scholarships, one from King and one from Moulton.
  • ASAP hosted its first fundraising event, a benefit concert held July 17 at Ritual Café called “Art and Soul.” The event featured live performances from area musicians Rob Lumbard, Brian Joens, Asphalt and Stained Glass, and the Java Jews, as well as Hurley and Dancers. Donations totaled more than $2,600.
  • ASAP volunteers (who donated more than 1,300 hours of their time this year!) earned income to support the program by selling concessions during events at Wells Fargo Arena and through a pop can drive.
  • As a coalition partner in the three-year Thrivent Builds Neighborhoods pilot grant (which came to an end this summer), ASAP hosted booths with hands-on art activities at Jazz in July in the 6th Avenue Corridor and at the Fall Festival in Evelyn Davis Park, and attended ribbon cuttings at Edna Griffin Park and the Empowerment Garden, where ASAP student artwork was installed and dedicated.
  • ASAP’s partnership with Evelyn Davis Park continued with an entry in the Iowa State Fair Parade. Participants proudly flew the new “Davis Eagle” down Grand Avenue and showcased student artwork created during Summer Arts Camp. Our entry won “Most Original” commercial walking entry out of a total 172 entries in the parade.
  • ASAP had record enrollment for the fall 2011 session, including a waiting list of 12 students.
  • ASAP was approached by the principal of two more elementary schools about expanding ASAP services to additional partner schools.
  • ASAP launched a Culinary Arts studio in fall 2011, working with a planning committee for several months to bring it to fruition. Members of the committee (which included Iowa State University Culinary Science and Dietitian Intern faculty, Drake University Agricultural Law Center/Buy Fresh Buy Local staff, and members of the Coalition in Support of Hungry Children, among others) also helped secure necessary additional funding, including grants from two local Thrivent chapters: NE Polk County #31161, for fresh food for weekly lessons and the final meal, and SW Polk County #31170, for take-home meal kits and a recipe booklet.
  • Des Moines Public Schools Nutrition Education department supported ASAP’s Culinary Arts studio by providing most of the equipment and supplies that students needed during the session. The donation came with instructions to send each student home with their equipment (including cutting boards, measuring cups and spoons, apple cutters, plastic produce knives, and kitchen towels) at the end of the session.

Looking ahead . . .

Winter 2012 studios include Culinary Arts, Beat Blast, Drama/Reader’s Theater, Storytelling and Mixed Media, and Sculpture.

Spring 2012 will be focused on the theme of Architecture! Studios will include Architectural Drawing, 3-D Model Building, Interior Design, Architectural Photography, and Elementary Carpentry. ASAP is grateful for the partnership of the Iowa Architectural Foundation for this session, and seeks additional help in all areas.


Download the complete annual update in PDF format.

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