WOW, what a spring! Last Friday evening, Portside families, teachers and administrators joined together in Portside's first ever virtual graduation for this past year's After School Arts Program (ASAP) students. During graduation, all 56 students in the 2018/19 After School Arts Program were honored for their accomplishments at the Portside in the past school year. It was great to see everyone's faces, celebrate together, and get some closure to the strange end of the school year that we have all experienced.
Although we were unable to gather in person at the Portside for the last three months of ASAP, Portside's teachers and administrators pulled together and worked hard to maintain a strong sense of creativity, structure and socialization in students' daily lives by immediately transitioning to virtual programming. Portside's lead teachers taught daily art lessons on Zoom, and assistant teachers posted art activities online for the kids. For many of Portside's ASAP students, this was the highlight of their days for the past few months.
"It's kinda crazy making art together. It's kinda crazy because, well, we don't see each other that often...it was helpful to see my friends," said Sharks student Cole, age 8, about his daily art lessons with Miss Natasha.
Thank you to Minnows lead teacher Miss Rachel, Sharks lead teacher Miss Natasha, Pirates lead teacher Miss Jesa, and our assistant teachers Miss YeEun, Miss Paulina, Mr. Joseph, Mr. Chris, Miss Gabby, and Miss Jean. With their help, we have been able to make it through these past few months and to continue "Empowering the Artists of Tomorrow." And thank you to all of our students for being AWESOME and creative young people.
"I'm very proud of our teachers and their dedication to picking up immediately and continuing to provide arts education virtually to their students. We have the best kids in the world!” exclaimed Kim Creighton, Founding Director of Portside Arts Center.
We are really looking forward to this year's After School Arts Program where we will see many returning happy faces, as well as some new ones!
This Wednesday, June 10th at 12:30pm EST, the Portside will be holding the second artist talk as a part of their "Artists at Lunch" virtual series. Portside's "Artists at Lunch" series is a biweekly virtual artist talk being offered to the Portside community and beyond! During each of these 30 minute artist talks that occur every other Wednesday from 12:30-1pm EST, a new artist will be introduced.
This upcoming "Artists at Lunch" will feature Jeffro Kilpatrick, a Philadelphia-based cartoonist and art teacher. He co-founded the Philadelphia Cartoonist Society in 1997 and is a longtime member of the Meathaus Comics Collective. In 2015, Jeffro won a SEED grant (Supporting Entrepreneurship in Education), an annual event presented by PhillyCORE Leaders for his Philly Artrepreneurs program. Jeffro also co-designed a community mural in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia with the Mural Arts Program. During his artist talk, Jeffro will be sharing completed works of art as well as works in progress with viewers, and will hold a 10 minute Q&A session at the end of the talk where viewers will be able to ask questions.
Although the Portside has sadly been unable to provide in person classes for adults and kids at the center during these past few months, we have been able to take advantage of and experiment with virtual programming for kids and adults, and adults. "Artists at Lunch" was created to engage and connect with other artists and people interested in the conversation, in Philadelphia and around the country. Because this is a virtual program, we have gotten sign ups from people all over the country to participate this Wednesday!
In addition to spreading inspiration and sharing their knowledge, the artists featured as well as the Portside ask for donations from viewers to help sustain the Portside during this time. With these donations which will go to the children's scholarship fund, we will be able to continue "Empowering the Artists of Tomorrow," and right now, art is more important than ever!
Please click the link below to learn about how to register and watch Jeffro's artist talk online.