In 2005 through collaboration between the Borrego Art Institute and the Borrego Springs Unified School District, the Children’s After School Art Program was born. In those early days the average class of about 12 students was bused from the school to the Art Institute. In its second year the program was taken over by local artist and educator Leslie Duncan. As the program’s popularity and numbers grew, the sessions were moved to the elementary school cafeteria and, eventually, to a classroom which it currently shares with the music program.
In 2014 the funding was provided by a private donor enabling the program to expand into the regular school day. For the first time in many years, every child, grades Kindergarten through 5th (roughly 225) was given a full period of art education and experience each week of the school year.
Our Developmental Art Program is geared toward accumulating skills and awareness that will be important to future academic accomplishments. It encourages free expression within boundaries of the materials provided. The children are taught the basic art elements, even at the youngest level; they are encouraged to explore various possibilities and to make their own choices. It is an entirely non-competitive activity which helps children discover that the choices they make determine the results produced. Many individuals have flourished in these art sessions in spite of difficulties in other aspects of school and/or language restrictions.
KIDS' PHOTOGRAPHY: New to this year is a BAI supported Photography program at the Middle School taught by Tom Hogan, one of our BAI volunteers and a professional photographer. The class just finished a video, Big Little Town, which will be shown during the Borrego Film Festival in January. To view the video, turn up your sound and click on https://vimeo.com/246308644