Program Made Possible by Grant from First Niagara Bank Foundation
The Rockland Center for the Arts (RoCA) is partnering with Rockland 21st Century Collaborative for Children and Youth (Rockland 21C) to present a series of free Family Art Workshops with Family Resource Centers in Rockland schools. The program, which kicked off in Dec. 2012 and will continue into the 2013 school year, is made possible by a grant from First Niagara Bank Foundation.
The hands-on workshops help parents to become more involved in their children’s schools and bring families together while creatively documenting their histories and memories. The workshops also help develop important art and language skills and promote family cultural awareness. The series began on December 6 at Hempstead Elementary School with a Fantastic Family Photos workshop. A workshop was also held at Cherry Lane Elementary School (Dec. 13). Workshops are being held Jan. 8 at Summit Elementary School, Jan. 28 at Valley Cottage Elementary School, Jan. 31 at the Clarkstown Family Resource Center and Feb. 7 at Sloatsburg Elementary School. Workshop topics include: Handmade Photo Albums; Creating Your Family Tree; Mosaic Memory Boxes, and Capturing What Grandmother Taught Us (or My Family Story): In Words or Pictures. Following the workshops, each participating family received a booklet of creative and skill building project ideas to extend their art making experiences.
"Rockland Center for the Arts has nurtured three generations of young artists during its 65-year history with art and education programs that build community, family, and skills for the future", said Julianne Ramos, RoCA's Executive Director. "Strong local partnerships like this one with 21C and the First Niagara Bank Foundation help ensure that these opportunities are there for everyone."
Rockland 21C is delighted to partner with RoCA and First Niagara Bank Foundation to bring these programs to local schools. Anne Nissen, Rockland 21C's administrator, points out “family art programs are wildly popular and allow participants to get to know each other in a very rich way. We are eager to bring this series to students and families across Rockland County.”
The workshops are being offered to a diverse range of schools and families in six Rockland County school districts: Clarkstown, East Ramapo, Nanuet, North Rockland, Nyack and Ramapo Central at Rockland 21C’s Family Resource Centers. The program will culminate with two exhibitions of participants’ work: “Family Photographs” at Rockland YouthFest in March 2013 and at RoCA’s Annual Student Exhibit in April-May, 2013.
"This grant by First Niagara Bank Foundation is making possible an important program which had been cut due to reduced funding from other sources. We are delighted to help bring back a program that allows families to focus on their roots and heritage and strengthen family bonds, which are critical to strong communities," said Sara Tucker, First Vice President - Regional Team Leader, Hudson Valley for First Niagara. "First Niagara is committed to doing great things in the communities it serves by supporting educational, creative programs such as the Family Art Workshops," she added. As one of the largest banks in the region, First Niagara now has nearly 430 branches in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts, and 26 branches in the Hudson Valley, including Blauvelt, New City, Nyack, Pearl River, Spring Valley, Stony Point, Suffern and Tappan.
RoCA is a multi-arts center dedicated to creating and promoting art through its School for The Arts, exhibitions, workshops, literary and performing arts events, Summer Arts Day Camp, and outreach programs. RoCa is the largest professionally staffed multi-arts center in the lower Hudson Valley, attracting over 25,000 visitors and students annually from throughout the region. For more information, visit www.rocklandartcenter.org.
Rockland 21C is a pioneering nonprofit countrywide partnership with children as the priority. It provides school Family Resource Center coordinators with training, contacts and information and builds program capacity through grants and partnerships. Their mission is to ensure the best possible future for every child by building a comprehensive support system that links family, school and community. For more information, visit www.rockland21c.org.
First Niagara, through its wholly owned subsidiary, First Niagara Bank, N.A., is a multi-state community-oriented bank with nearly 430 branches, approximately $38 billion in assets, $29 billion in deposits, and approximately 6,000 employees providing financial services to individuals, families and businesses across Upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.firstniagara.com.
Contact: Julian Palmer 845-821-5657/ JPalmer@rocklandartcenter.org