The Art Bus addresses socio-economic and racial diversity through a project that targets and embraces community diversity in the seven-county metro area. The families Art ASAP serve face economic and ethnic challenges as well as an opportunity gap due to the lack of educational equity caused by insufficient funding in public schools. Arts programming is often the first to be cut from the budget. Extracurricular art programs may be unavailable to these youth due to a lack of transportation or money. The Art Bus provides a quality arts experience at no cost to the students in an area affected by these budget cuts. With limited access to arts programming, the goal of providing artist-mentors where they are needed most is achieved.
Artists sensitive to the issues these youth face will help to build artist-mentor bonds because of their relationship to the community. Art ASAP represents diversity through the project teaching staff and the board of directors. The studio is wheelchair-accessible for students with disabilities.
The Art Bus strengthens the community by offering a positive place to gather and offers youth a safe, creative outlet as an alternative to the latchkey lifestyle affecting many family units. The project enhances self-esteem and bridges the gap for isolated youth by involving and collaborating with mixed age groups for youth art shows. Members of the community benefit by achieving a sense of inclusion at the project’s art exhibition at the conclusion of the program.
Art ASAP, The Art Bus is pleased to announce winning the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Project Support Grant in June 2014 and the Arts Learning Grant in 2016! Funding for Art ASAP, Inc. makes possible a series of free art classes conducted in an art studio in a converted Metro Transit Authority bus. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
Art ASAP has reached out to Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) by becoming an official Community Partner. Our relationship with St. Paul Public Housing Authority (SPPHA) has resulted in programming at Mt. Airy Hi-Rise, an affordable housing complex in St. Paul. We are partners with the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in their Art Minor Teaching program. Students intern on The Art Bus for credit.
The Art Bus was made possible by generous contributions from Twin Cities corporate sponsors. Bloomington Carpet and Floor supplied and installed the floor of the Art Bus. The design looks great and makes the studio a fun place to gather and make art. Marsden Construction built custom tables and an easel to fit the dimensions of the bus. We can serve as many as 20 kids on the Art Bus! Triarco generously donated art materials and easels so the kids can experiment with a wide variety of media. Projects use paints, pastels, pencils, paper and more to create beautiful works of art. A great big THANK YOU to our generous sponsors!