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Local neighborhood arts project reviving what many schools continue to lose

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BATON ROUGE - LSU's Museum of Art Neighborhood Arts Project may only span across a couple of local neighborhoods, but it's opening young minds to a world of possibility.

The Project is made up of eighteen instructors and holds over forty sessions at its six sites throughout the city.

Since its start this summer, hundreds of kids from around the community have created thousands of artworks. Program coordinator Brandon Lewis says beyond learning new techniques to express themselves, the kids are learning techniques that have been lost in the school system.

"Programs like this are important because the arts are being cut across the board in our traditional school sectors," Lewis said. "[The kids] able to go back to their schools when August comes with more exploration and more ideas as it pertains to visual arts." 

From learning to weave to crocheting to painting a colorful canvas, the LSU Museum of Art team says they're teaching techniques to those who may not have the opportunity otherwise. 

Lewis says the Project is focused on underserved communities, and he wants to influence children to expand their creativity.

"Art gives hope, and so one of the things I like to see is the children's light bulbs go off when they are engaging in the arts."

For one local fifth grader, that's exactly what happened. Since attending, she's gained a new sense of esteem.

That's just part of how the program has influenced Skylar Washington. It's also instilled passion and motivation for her to reach new heights.

"Being confident, and being around more people," Washington says, has instilled passion and motivation for her to reach new heights.

"I want to be an artist and a book producer, it's always been my dream since I was a kid."

Washington is among many children who have picked up new techniques, igniting new creativities. 

The program will continue until August 6th, with several events coming up. 

The LSU Museum of Art says they have similar initiatives that will take place during the school year. 


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