This year, the Artisans Gallery from St. James partnered for the first time with a Brunswick County elementary school at their 19th Annual Holiday Boutique held in Southport on November 9 and 10. The Jessie Mae Monroe School, in Ash, has the great fortune to have Theresa Reiter as an art teacher. Ms. Reiter is bringing creative learning opportunities to her students, and some of those opportunities have melded with the goals of Stepping Up For Arts (SUFA), the not-for-profit arm of the St. James Artisans.
SUFA’s mission for over 10 years has been to raise money for arts education in Brunswick County. It has been awarding college scholarships to aspiring art students in the county, and giving grants to art educators in all the county schools. SUFA and the Artisans Gallery are now expanding that mission. To that end, SUFA has begun "hands on" partnerships in which it can support the schools in new and creative ways and the schools can likewise assist SUFA.
The Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary students of Theresa Reiter have been raising money for a smart board that will not only handle the standard functions of a smart board but will enable video teleconferencing discussions and group projects with other schools via the virtual classroom and virtual field trips to museums.
As part of that endeavor, each year the students design holiday cards and print them. Over 400 cards are individually designed by all levels, including special education. Twenty-six designs are then selected by the principal, to be printed and sold in boxes of 26 cards, online by Ms. Reiter at email@example.com. This year, the Artisans were honored to be able to work with the students to market and sell these cards at the Holiday Boutique in Southport.
Earlier this year, the students from Jessie Mae Monroe plus students from Brunswick Early College and South Brunswick High School, helped with “The Pirate Invasion”, SUFA’s event in October, by painting murals for the event’s wall decoration. This allowed the students to learn the history of the pirate era ands and expand their art knowledge. SUFA in turn was able to show its supporters the benefits of their donated funds. SUFA and the Artisans look forward to continued joint art partnerships with Theresa Reiter and the other art educators in Brunswick County.
From Barbara G. White, Communications VP Artisans