Youth to Benefit From Art Center Grant

Grant funding is opening up opportunities for youth art makers in Salina.

Salina Art Center has been awarded an Arts Engagement in American Communities Grant through the National Endowment for the Arts to fund opportunities for youth art makers to use art as a catalyst for discussing issues of relevance and significance to their generation.

According to the Art Center, the first project funded is the A.R.T (Art, Reflection, & Thinking) mentorship program for middle and high school students. This is a free afterschool program for students referred by a teacher, counselor, or another adult. Created in the late 1990s as a program for at-risk students, A.R.T has evolved to include quality art instruction, flexible scheduling, and a diverse group of students interested in developing artistic skills. USD 305 is a long-standing partner with Salina Art Center to provide quality afterschool programming along with OCCK who provides transportation from South High, Central High, Lakewood, and South Middle to the Art Center Warehouse Education Studio at no charge to A.R.T. students.

A.R.T. is a FREE program for middle and high school referred students. Only 15 students are accepted per session. Students who participate in A.R.T will:

  • Develop artistic skills in a variety of mediums,
  • Work and learn with local and regional artists as they show you how they make art and why,
  • Explore and experiment with a variety of art materials and processes,
  • Develop and express independent ideas and discuss them,
  • Learn new ways of problem-solving,
  • Learn how to set and meet their own goals,
  • Learn how to work as a team,
  • Develop leadership skills,
  • Bringing awareness and healing to emotional, mental, and physical issues through art-making,
  • Engage in a therapeutic release from everyday life and surroundings,
  • Empower positivity about self and others.

This year has brought some changes to the A.R.T. program. The most significant is in the schedule. Instead of a full-year class, students will have the opportunity to participate in any/all three sessions. Sessions are timed in tandem with the Kansas High School Athletics Association season calendar. This allows students to be athletes and artists by choosing A.R.T. sessions that align with their athletic seasons.

The three sessions of A.R.T. will thematically fall into how art is used as a catalyst for storytelling, mental wellness, and social impact.

  • Session 1: A.R.T. of Animation. Using film animation to share stories of who we are and where we are going.
  • Session 2: A.R.T. of Sculpture. Using sculptural techniques (ceramics, paper, and found objects) to connect to self and transform emotions.
  • Session 3: A.R.T. of Social Justice. Exploring street artists and gorilla art techniques used to draw attention to issues of social relevance.

To register for A.R.T., visit our website at

The second project funded by the grant is the 3rd Sunflower Biennial exhibition. The Sunflower Biennial is a juried exhibition of visual art to recognize artists in Kansas, associated with secondary and post-secondary programs, for dedication, achievement, and contribution to exchanges that reveal life.

This year’s exhibition is adjudicated by Wichita-based artists Patrick Duegaw & Elizabeth Stevenson. Exhibition programming highlights many artists, allowing them to lead workshops or give gallery talks about their work and future plans. Contemporary art deals with current issues. The Art Center provides young artists an opportunity to share what is current in their world. The Sunflower Biennial is a platform that encourages exchanges of ideas and respect. The exhibition allows young artists to gain experience with exhibition submissions, building a portfolio, public speaking, marketing their talents, and much more.

The Sunflower Biennial call for entry will be released on Sept. 6, 2022, with an entry deadline of Nov. 30, 2022. The 3rd Sunflower Biennial opens on Feb. 8, 2023. To learn more, visit