Side by Side art classes offered once more at Kentucky Museum

Arts+for+All+Kentucky%2C+a+statewide+organization+that+brings+art+and+education+programs+to+people+with+disabilities%2C+has+worked+with+the+Kentucky+Museum+since+2006+to+provide+these+opportunities+to+children+in+the+region.+%0A

Georgia Mallett

Arts for All Kentucky, a statewide organization that brings art and education programs to people with disabilities, has worked with the Kentucky Museum since 2006 to provide these opportunities to children in the region.

Alexandria Anderson, News Reporter

Arts for All Kentucky is a statewide organization that brings art and education programs to people with disabilities. The program has worked with the Kentucky Museum since 2006 to provide these opportunities to children in the region.

The Kentucky Museum Side by Side Arts for All program begins on Saturday, Feb. 12. Registered participants will be able to work side by side with an artist to develop social and artistic skills and create a piece to be displayed at a final exhibition at the museum.

Delaire Rowe, the director for Arts for All Kentucky, explained the purpose of the nine programs throughout the state and how they give artistic opportunities to children with disabilities.

“This is a program that is designed to be accessible for kids with a variety of different types of disabilities who often may not be participating in other forms of extracurricular activities. The artists that we work with have received some training in working with children with disabilities to make sure they feel comfortable,” Rowe said. “And they [the children] typically come back year after year. It’s an opportunity to meet other kids and make friends and get to have a special kind of relationship with these community artists that partner with them.”

“It’s an opportunity to meet other kids and make friends and get to have a special kind of relationship with these community artists that partner with them.””

— Delaire Rowe, the director for Arts for All Kentucky

The program provides opportunities for the children to have a variety of social environments. Rowe spoke on the parts of the Side by Side program and how the mixture of social interactions creates the most successful program for the participants.

“It provides different types of social settings for these children that are often more isolated than their peers,” Rowe said. “With our art classes it’s a group setting, a small class, and they have that setting with their peers. The other type of social interaction provided is the one on one with the adult artist. It makes them feel special that they’re the focus of another artist that encourages them.”

Rowe explained how the programs benefit the participants during and after they complete the sessions. Arts for All has goals for all participants and seeks to provide a space where participants can increase their skills across multiple areas.

“Participants really gain self confidence,” Rowe said. “It gives them an arena to shine in, something that they can be good at, something they can be proud of and show with others. There are actual goals that we set out to achieve.” 

The Side by Side Arts for All Kentucky programs occur at the museum twice, with an online program in the fall that was introduced because of the pandemic and the in-person program in the early winter. 

“We want them to increase their artistic skills, we provide opportunities to increase social skills, and we want to make sure they have access to the arts in our cultural institutions and see that there’s a place for them,” Rowe said. “These also provide cognitive skills because they are learning and having fun, and they get an increased exposure to real artists and talk about their artwork together.”

Rowe finalized her statements on the program with the hope that even more families realize the social, artistic and educational Arts for All provides.

“We would just like more people to get involved,” Rowe said. “There are probably a lot of parents out there that don’t know about us, and we always welcome newcomers.”

News Reporter Alexandria Anderson can be reached at [email protected].