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Two agencies team up to teach artistry
Classes educate public housing children in the summer
The Gainesville Housing Authority and Quinlan Visual Arts Center joins forces to teach an art class to children living in public housing.

Aspiring artists from within the Gainesville Housing Authority’s public housing completed a weekly summer art class offered through a partnering of the GHA and the Quinlan Visual Arts Center.

The free class was designed specifically for low-income children, teaching them creative problem-solving skills through working in paint, clay, drawing and other media such as recycled art. Classes were taught Friday afternoons at the Davis Street community center with participants coming from within GHA’s dozen-plus Gainesville properties.

Art teacher Mary Hull, an established artist, teacher and business entrepreneur, led the weekly class of 13- and 14-year-old children. Vivian Young, a longtime Quinlan volunteer and artist, also brought her expertise.

The program proved successful in many ways.

“We’ve seen a core group of our kids get really excited and ask ‘what’s the next class?’ We’d love to make this a permanent program,” GHA Executive Director Judith Escamilla said.

In fact, recent collegiate studies showed students who study art score higher on academic tests such as the SAT than those who do not.

Classes were funded by local community arts supporters and foundations and are part of an initiative by the GHA to encourage residents toward self-sufficiency using acquired skillsets and strategies such as the arts.

To sponsor or contribute to the classes, contact the Quinlan staff. All donations go directly toward paying artists and teachers and buying supplies. Volunteers are welcome, too.