The Common Sense Fund has awarded Port Chester’s Clay Art Center
a $40,000 grant that will allow the center to offer a year-long after school Around the World in Clay ceramic class
for students in Port Chester middle and high school, the Art Center recently
The high school program will also offer an employment training and job skills component of five paid internships to eligible students interested in art careers.
“We are grateful to the Common Sense Fund for enabling us to expand our community arts programming for the students of Port Chester, who would not otherwise have access to arts enrichment,” said Clay Art Center Executive Director Leigh Taylor Mickelson. “This much needed funding has come at a time when the afterschool funding in Port Chester has been cut and we are excited to be able to provide this opportunity for middle and high school students.”
The Port Chester school district and community has been working to find affordable and free after school programs for local children this year after a $1.4 million state grant that the district has received in the past was cut from the state budget.
The district had to find new grants and accept help from local organizations after it did not receive that $1.4 million 21st Century state grant. Service Education Resources and the Port Chester Council for the Arts are now running the elementary and middle school after-school programs, but parents have to pay a fee for the first time. While the district finds ways to keep costs as low as possible, they are unable to provide the same service to students.
The Clay Art Center grant will help provide another after school option for families. The art department in each of the schools will handle the registration of the students.
The Clay Art Center described the program in their recent press release:
Students will meet weekly at the Clay Art Center and will be introduced to clay through culturally relevant projects and through sequential, skill-based learning. The program highlights the ceramic traditions of Latin America, Asia and Africa to give students an opportunity to discover or perhaps reconnect with their cultural heritage through ceramics.
This program will provide students with a comprehensive program: instruction on the basic techniques in handbuilding and on the potter’s wheel, tours of monthly exhibits in CAC’s gallery, dialogs with visiting artists, exposure to the resources of a large community of studio artists working in the Center and the ability to work on more challenging projects in an environment that fosters creativity and personal growth.
About the Clay Art Center
Clay Art Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit ceramic arts center which, for over 50 years, has been offering a stimulating space for studio practice, exhibitions and educational opportunities to better serve the community. Clay Art Center is the largest and most active ceramic facility in the tri-state area and provides exceptional studio resources and a strong artistic community. CAC’s mission is to kindle passion for the ceramic arts and to nurture a community in which that passion flourishes. Guided by a strong belief in the power of the arts to touch and enrich our lives, the Center has, for more than 50 years, offered a stimulating space for studio practice, solo and group exhibitions in its Gallery, artist residencies, and year-round day and evening clay classes and workshops for adults and children and a shop featuring handmade pottery, sculpture and jewelry. Clay Art Center is located at 40 Beech Street in Port Chester. The Gallery and shop are open Monday-Saturday, 10am-4pm.
About The Common Sense Fund:
The Common Sense Fund promotes action both on the environment and in the arts that is practical, creative, and addresses social needs.
The Common Sense Fund was incorporated in 1983 through the philanthropic vision of Seymour Schwartz (Sy). Our environmental mission comes from the example set by Sy who, during his long career as a real estate developer, understood each project within its environmental context, and applied creative and practical techniques to preserve the land and its resources. The Foundation supports environmental change through education, policy initiatives, green jobs training, and stewardship of our natural resources. Our theory of action includes the hope that lessening our dependence on fossil fuels will contribute to peace in the world.
Our arts mission honors Sybil Schwartz, whose love of the arts and commitment to optimizing every child's potential is expressed in our funding of arts programs for the underserved.