March is Youth Art Month

Youth Art Month is a month of promoting art and art education in the United States. It is observed in March, with thousands of American schools participating, often with the help of civic organizations like GFWC and GFWC-NC.

The 2020-2021 theme is “Art Connects us”. This initiative is intended to immerse and engage America’s youth in the visual and performing arts. Arts programs for Youth can foster skills like problem solving, creativity, observation, and communication.

The GFWC challenge project for the Arts and Culture CSP is to sponsor a Youth Arts Contest, preferable in March, but many of our clubs hosts contests in January and February in conjunction with our GFWC-NC State Arts Festival program.

CHALLENGE PROJECT: YOUTH ART CONTEST Sponsor a Youth Art Contest, preferably in March during Youth Art Month. Consider making it a community-wide event and inviting all schools to participate. Partner with the Art League or other organizations and include categories such as oil, watercolor, charcoal, pencil, mixed media, and others. Arrange for judges and ribbons and awards. Display the artwork at a local bank or library and hold a reception with refreshments to announce the winners and celebrate all participants. Or, for a smaller event, hold a Youth Art Contest or a Poster Contest at a local school. Separate entries by grades or select one grade to participate.

There are many community activities and projects that you as a club could start or participate in:

  • Check with your local Arts Council. For example, the United Arts Council of Catawba County has grant opportunities for nonprofit organizations, artists, and students. Projects Pool grants are for nonprofits planning new or impactful cultural
  • The Surray Arts Council in Mount Airy offers traditional arts programs (TAPS) one of which is free Youth Music Lessons. They offer free fiddle, guitar, banjo, and mandolin weekly They are always looking for additional instruments for their program. Think about donating to a program in your area.
  • Check with your local elementary and middle Many have band, percussion, jazz band opportunities for students. Students are responsible for purchasing books, drumsticks, mallets etc. Think about donating to the music programs at your area schools.
  • The Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina have Arts programs available.

Giving Kids a Voice through the Arts

These programs are designed to foster creativity in young people and give them outlets for self-expression. From photography to hip-hop, lyricism to music production, fine arts and drama, their arts programs have something that will inspire everyone.

  • Through a partnership with Open Doors of Asheville, the North Carolina Glass Center (NCGC) is actively building bridges between the River Arts District in Asheville, NC and surrounding low-income Together they have created and implemented an arts-focused, hands-on, educational program offered at no cost to participants. This program brings youth directly into our professional glass studio to be taught and mentored by NCGC artist instructors on the art, science, and math of glassblowing and flame working.
  • The North Carolina Arts Council has an Arts program for At-Risk youth in NC. Involvement in the arts is an unparalleled means for young people to develop the strength, resiliency and self- image that allow them to participate in society on healthy terms. Arts give adolescents developmentally appropriate opportunities for risk taking, gives them meaning and strong mentor relationships, and offers opportunities for accountability and social


  • DREAMS of Wilmington • KidzNotes (Durham) • Authoring Action (Winston-Salem) • Community School of the Arts (Charlotte)

For more information on this program please check out their brochure at: Microsoft PowerPoint – Arts Education for At-Risk Youth – Panel (

Whether you create your own arts program at your club level, foster a joint venture with another organization, or just donate your time or money, you are helping youth develop skills,  awareness and appreciation of the Arts. Whether it is visual arts, musical, or drama, art is designed to inspire everyone to make the world a more beautiful, thoughtful, and caring place.

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” –Edgar Degas

For more information or if you have any questions please contact:


Jennifer Richards                                             Rebecca Duffy

GFWC-NC Arts & Culture CSP Chairman          GFWC-NC Arts & Culture Junior CSP Chairman






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