Hyde Park Art Center launches ‘Pay as You Can’ model | Chicago News

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Beginning in the spring of 2022, an art school just south of town will be the first of its kind, offering tuition-free art classes for emerging and developing artists of all ages.

“People are watching over you here.” When you are here, you are part of the family. This is how art student Sheila Clay at the Hyde Park Art Center describes her experience and says that’s what keeps her coming back.

” It’s enriching. It enriches your soul and your spirit and makes you forget all that worries you. It relaxes you and mentally teaches you to focus. You get clarity here. Workers and staff show interest and show solidarity. I’m supposed to be here. I’m not supposed to sit at home.

It’s a nearly five-year plan being worked on with the help of the art center’s $15 million The art makes capital campaign. It is with the help of donors that the art center will be able to offer a “pay as you can” option for all its art classes. From painting and drawing to textile lessons and photography, there is something for everyone.

“We don’t like to say the only one, but as far as we know, this will be the first tuition-free art school for people of all ages to attend in the country,” said Jeannette Chambers, assistant director of programs and operations. of the Hyde Park Art Center. “This model will allow us to deliver courses more consistently. Offer new courses that we couldn’t offer before. Support our community of teacher artists.

This includes teaching artists like Malika Jackson. I attended his ceramics course for seniors, many of whom are on scholarships, which will continue as part of the ‘Art Makes’ campaign.

“Everyone should have the opportunity to create and not be limited by lack of funds or access,” says Malika Jackson. “Through the arts, children and people can express themselves and you can see how they might need help through their works. They are increasingly open and willing to talk to you without being put on the spot.

Veda Fangi, a visually impaired student, who also benefits from scholarships, agrees.

“I don’t think I could have taken this course without the financial aid,” Fangi said. “They help me create the things I see in my head since I can’t really see what I’m doing.”

Along with a few niche experimental classes, the Art Makes campaign will also support artist residency programs, exhibitions and other art events organized by the center.

“It allows people from all walks of life to come together in one space and make sense together, to be creative and to build relationships and develop their artistic skills,” Chambers said.

The Hyde Park Art Center will continue to offer financial aid and the pay-as-you-go method for some art courses until Spring 2022, when this payment method will be available for all art courses.

Registration for winter courses begins on November 30 at 12 p.m.

Discover the course list here.


Follow Angel Idowu on Twitter: @angelidowu3

Angel Idowu is the JCS Fund of DuPage Foundation Art correspondent.


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