STEAM-ing Ahead for the Arts!—After 14 years of declining funds and increasing exclusion from schools, the arts were re-added to the core curriculum with the passing of the “Every Student Succeeds Act” late last December, turning STEM to STEAM! Once resources from the State of Oregon and funds from Title I and the “Assistance for Arts Education” grants that this act provides reach the local level, we anticipate that our kids will leap ahead with the resources this will bring to art classes throughout the Rogue Valley.

Aligning academic standards for the arts with other academic standards will provide additional opportunities for all students to achieve at high levels across the curriculum. By helping to close the achievement gap, the arts prepare students for careers in the $699 billion—according to a 2015 U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis report—arts industry to become artists, musicians, dancers, actors, museum curators, architects, graphic artists, photographers, filmmakers, and TV-radio producers, as well as manufacturing designers, engineers, theoretical and research scientists, teachers, and more.

America’s 548,000 art-related businesses employ 4.13 million people. Arts in education mean careers, business, and a new generation of innovative thinkers in the American workforce. Profound thanks to Oregon Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici for her foresight and determination. Her amendment, which integrated the arts into STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math) in the rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) legislation, was UNANIMOUSLY adopted by the joint House-Senate Conference Committee for the final version of the ESEA bill last November. The bill was signed into law on December 10, 2015…Full STEAM ahead!

The Road to Adventure: Journeys & Experiences in Travel—Come to Art Presence Art Center and immerse yourself in travel photography and artists’ renditions of memorable moments in their own journeys. While much of the superb artwork in the gallery represents places here and around the world, some of the creative offerings for this show include interpretations of the theme that go above and beyond, speaking to matters of the heart and our journey through life. From bright and enticing to subdued and thought-provoking, this exhibition is one not to miss! The Road to Adventure continues through April 24.

Art Presence carries the books of 17 local authors who have published non-fiction works on topics from cookbooks to history and creative works from novels to children’s literature. Remember to browse their offerings the next time you visit the gallery—get a copy to take home or give to someone special and support local writers!

Art Presence Offsite Exhibits:

Pioneer Village: “The World is in Constant Motion.” Catie Faryl’s retrospective exhibition of engaging paintings selected from each of her twenty years of creating activist art continues through April 28.

Jacksonville Library, Naversen Room: Elaine Witteveen Retrospective. Framed works by the late Elaine Witteveen are on display in the Naversen Room through April 4.

What’s Happening Upstairs?—Every Monday, 1:00-3:00pm: Bring your pencils and sketchbook and draw professional models from life in our Figure Drawing studio. No need to register, just show up ready to draw! Still just $10/session.

Reserve our upstairs room for your class, workshop or meeting! Contact Anne Brooke at 541-941-7057.