The Kentucky Museum is in the process of fundraising for a new scholarship for elementary school-aged children to attend its annual art camps under WKU’s Fall 2018 SpiritFunder campaign.
Through this scholarship, kids from low-income families in Bowling Green will be able to attend one of the Kentucky Museum’s week-long art camps, which usually costs $150, cost free.
“When we looked at our funding needs, we realized that one-in-five families in Bowling Green are low-income families,” Kentucky Museum Fundraising Coordinator Tiffany Isselhardt said. “With the continued cuts to art education in public schools we’re seeing, a scholarship fund seemed like the best answer.”
Isselhardt said the museum is hoping to pilot the program beginning next year, eventually establishing an endowment. Its goal this year is to raise at least $1,500, which would completely cover the camp costs for 10 children.
“This is a huge opportunity for WKU to realize that what major students have ties back to arts and culture,” she said. “They are a fundamental part of our lives, and the Kentucky Museum is a wonderful place to begin to engage with arts, culture and different ideas.”
Isselhardt said the museum is currently looking for corporate sponsors and grants as well as raising money from the general public. The WKU foundation is further supporting by promoting the fundraiser through social media and helping to identify businesses and individuals in the community interested in donating.
WKU’s artist in residence Lynne Ferguson said the camps have been running for the last 15 years. These week-long camps are mainly art-focused, which can vary from painting and drawing to pottery and weaving. Ferguson, who typically helps run the camps, said a scholarship would be a good way to reach out to children who were normally not as exposed to that kind of experience.
“It’s a wonderful way to help families who don’t often have the funds to do extra things for their children, like send them to art camps,” Ferguson said. “Our goal is always to hope that the kids feel accomplished or like they’ve created something important.”
Through the scholarships and art camps, the Kentucky Museum’s goal is to provide art education and involvement with the museum.
“Art education is vital,” Isselhardt said. “It’s what makes somebody a good citizen. For little kids, we’re not just giving them these artistic skills but a way to express themselves and help deal with whatever they encounter in their lives.”
Reporter Emily DeLetter can be reached at 270-745-6011 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @emilydeletter.