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Posted: Monday, July 30

Keeping Art Adventure in the Classroom

The local elementary school art program is valuable to kids and parents alike.

In 2007, when a group of Edina parents learned that Art Adventure (formerly Art Masterpiece) might be in danger of cancellation in the elementary schools, they came together to make sure the program, which brings art into the classroom once a month for students in grades 1-4, continued not only to survive but to thrive. Launched in the mid-1970s, also by parent volunteers, the program became such a success that it served as a model for the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) to develop a similar curriculum now used in schools statewide.

Art Adventure has not changed radically over the years – parent volunteers, who participate in training at the MIA, are given a print reproduction of a piece of art, classic or contemporary, to bring into the classroom.  Frannie Kuhs, who first learned about Art Masterpiece when she herself was an elementary school student in Edina and is now the Art Adventure coordinator at Creek Valley, loves how the revelation of the art starts “a conversation, rather than a lecture” for students about what they  are seeing.

Parents can get as much out of the experience as the kids can. “I’m sharing the knowledge I’ve gained through the training,” says Countryside parent volunteer Annie Schilling, “but I’m getting so much knowledge myself.”

Learn more about Art Adventure in the August issue of Edina Magazine, available August 1 at edinamag.com.