The Columbus art program on wheels has free online classes to spark students' creativity.

Since 2017, The Artmobile has brought arts education to students who need it most in Columbus’ economically disadvantaged communities. But when the pandemic increased barriers to providing such programming, the organization had to make some changes. Enter the creation of TheArtmobile@Home.

The new all-ages virtual series offers free classes designed to address arts-education gaps exacerbated by pandemic-related learning adjustments. The offerings have a broad reach and are suitable for teachers, students and parents.

The self-paced series is accessible 24-7 on the organization’s YouTube channel and incorporates materials families are likely to already have on hand. An experienced arts educator hosts, providing easy instructions appropriate for all skill levels, designed to stimulate creative expression. Participants will develop artistic techniques and learn about principles of visual art by experimenting with line, color, form, shape and texture.

According to Artmobile founder Tobi Furman, arts education is about far more than skill and creativity. “Especially during this time, arts education is critical for helping children connect with each other, express themselves and process stress, and stay engaged in creative learning. We are committed to continue offering access to arts-inspired learning opportunities to those students who need it the most,” she says. Moms and dads are invited to join in as well, Furman adds, citing research that suggests parent engagement in arts education is closely linked to student success and improved behavior.

For more on the at-home series and upcoming events, visit cbusartmobile.org.

A shorter version of this story appears in “Parent Pulse” in our Fall 2020 issue.

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