Art Road Brings Art Class Back to Schools
Did you have art class when you were little?
Art Road Nonprofit founder Carol Hofgartner was asked to speak about architecture at a career day at an elementary school in Detroit over fourteen years ago (1995). Carol went to the fifth grade class, showed the students the construction documents of a project she was working on and also talked about her experiences in art class when she was little.
A boy stood up and proclaimed, "Miss Carol we do not have art class!" The teacher explained that because of budget cuts they no longer had art or music.
Carol then began as a volunteer teaching art twice a month to the fifth grade class for seven years. Not only did she come to class, but she also invited artists, architects, automotive designers, and others in the arts to visit and teach their unique abilities to the students.
One day, as Carol was coming up the steps, a boy was yelling from the playground "Art is here!" as he was ripping off his coat and getting to the classroom as fast as he could to have art.
On another day, there was a knock on the door during art and a little girl had her face glued to the window of the classroom. Carol went to the door and the little girl said, "Miss Carol I am special too - when do I get to have art class?" You see, Carol only volunteered on one classroom, thus the other 300 students did not get art.
That day Carol decided she had to do more.
Carol asked the students to name her project, and one boy said, "Art Road, because you are on the road bringing art class to kids." Thus Art Road Nonprofit was created in 2004 with the mission that children throughout Southeastern Michigan have access to art instruction.
Because of Art Road Nonprofit, Edison Elementary School in Detroit went from having no art teacher for seven years to having art taught by the best in the world. Art Road Nonprofit employs graduate students from the internationally-renowned Cranbrook Academy of Art to teach art to the students at Edison Elementary School.
Our goal is to create the best art model to reach more students that lack art in their curriculum.
Over 10,000 students in Detroit alone lack art, not including the suburban schools cutting the minutes of art or completely eliminating art class.
And it seems we are alone in our quest.
Carol approached organizations in other states attempting to bring art back. They laughed when she asked if they were planning to expand their programs to other states. They said there is so much need in their states alone that they will not be expanding to other cities.
Also, when Carol approached major cultural institutions in the Detroit area, they all said that it is not their mission to bring art class back to schools. Who will be their benefactors in the future if children in their own backyards are not exposed to art?
We have created a world class model of bringing art class back to schools. We employ the best instructors, provide field trips to art museums, offer a summer art camp, and create a beautiful environment for art class to take place right in their own schools.