“If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.”
– Edward Hopper
The Community Arts Center of Cambria County's multifaceted outreach program, Outbound Art, serves many subdivisions of individuals and a wide cross-section of artistic mediums, all through free art workshops and classes at the Community Arts Center or partnered third-party locations. Outbound Art outreach initiatives are grant-funded offerings that serve all of Cambria County and surrounding regions, regardless of their age, gender, race, religion, sexuality, political alignment, economic state, geographic location, or any other discriminatory factor. The Arts Center focuses on building empowerment, engagement, creative expression, and education through the arts. Outreach has been part of the Center's programming since its infancy, but a significant expansion has been taking place over the last three years.
Read on to learn about our current programming as it caters to different populations within our community.
Through the Serving Underserved division, Outbound Art influences a large demographic of underserved children and youth in Cambria County, acting as a gateway that caters to the expressionistic needs of adolescents. Outbound Art defines children as pre-primary to early middle school and youth from middle school through high school. Outbound Art serves a wide cross-section of underserved, through free art workshops and classes at the Community Arts Center or partnered third-party locations.
Specialty programming helps to keep adolescents occupied through mindful art education. Projects completed in these classes, workshops, and summer camps excite the students, changing their focus to constructive activities and helps them to resist negative life choices. The Center knows that the influence of a program such as this will have a lasting impact on an individual's long-term self-worth. Positive self-expression leads to positive behaviors; for many children and youth, the objective is to equip them with the knowledge that they are special and talented, helping to promote their individualism. Ultimately, these young people can grow up to be valuable influencers who are a benefit to their community.
Serving Underserved provides three areas of participation within its programming. First, the classes offered will take place at the same time, day, and location each week, providing structure for the children or youth participants. Typically, classes are taught in four- or six-week timeslots, based on the category, project, and collaborative partnership of the third-party affiliate. The instructors will travel with supplies to the affiliate's location. The Center’s instructors are professional artists and/or certified/retired teachers, who have their clearances and relish in the opportunities to share their love of art. Program options focus on different media, tools, and techniques for creating art, so that those interested will experience something new and different.
Second, workshops are the favorable choice for partnering agencies. Workshops are structured with projects that are adaptable for any age. The art projects will concentrate on one of the artistic mediums and each partner selects the medium. The beauty of workshops is that they are a flexible programming concept, taught from any location, or on site at the Center, located in the Westmont borough of Johnstown, PA. Workshops are anywhere from two to four hours long and can be adapted into a series format. Conveniently, both classes and workshops have the flexibility to be themed based on the need or requirements of the affiliate.
Third, Summer Arts Camps are the most recently funded component, based on S.T.R.E.A.M. enrichment. Through the Maxwell the Rain Drop Fund and the Jacob Fend Foundation, the Center has been able to offer partial and full scholarships for camps. By instituting this opportunity, many children and youth are no longer left unattended or with idle time in the summer.
Insightful Art is an outreach initiative that caters to the Blind & Visually Handicapped (B&VH) community by providing Arts4Wellness classes as a means of communication, self-expression and emotional release. The CACCC hosts two 8-week sessions of art classes for adults. Each class is 2-hours in length and will take place during CACCC’s regular seasonal sessions. These classes will cover Hands-On, Performing, and/or Visual Arts. (Please see descriptive list of artistic mediums, support materials.) The intent will be to offer student exploration through each art form taught. Students will communicate emotional self-expression with each piece created, which transcends a world of black into each blind student’s individualized perception of color. This artistic environment does not focus on the individual’s disabilities but rather accommodates the persons differences to produce art alongside their peers.
This initiative fosters a safe and supportive environment, developing stronger social ties and improving cognitive function. In Americans for the Arts book Arts, Health, & Wellness: Excerpted from Arts & America: Arts, Culture, and the Future of America’s Communitiesit states that, “With a national, state, and local emphasis on prevention and health promotion, healthcare experts and consumers are looking at old and new ways of delivery, in particular, person-centered accountable primary care. Future healthcare will address the whole person, not just the ill or injured bits.” It goes on to say, “This holistic approach, called whole person caring, helps foster optimal health and wellness, with particular awareness to the person’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual dimensions and needs. This awareness is critical for successful prevention efforts. The nature of the arts, with its focus on personal choice and self-expression, renders it a perfect tool for assuring person-centered care and care for the whole person. A patient’s goals, thoughts, needs, and desires are often more easily and comprehensively expressed though a poem, painting, song, or story than through an interview or questionnaire. Community artists and local arts organizations will have many opportunities to be involved in the health and wellness sector.”
The Language of Art program's overall objective is to provide an artistically enriched educational opportunity for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing (D&HH) community, at no charge to the participants.
The CACCC hosts two 8-week sessions of art classes for adults. Each class is 2-hours in length and will take place during CACCC’s regular seasonal sessions. All courses will promote the exploration of self-expression and communication through diverse art forms; which ultimately compliments the student’s ability skillset. In conjunction, the development of critical thinking through self-expressive socialization will aid to bridge the gap between the Deaf Community and the Hearing Community, respectably.
The Center’s Arts Enrichment Instructor, familiar with conveying information to special needs art students, will develop the curricula with the aid of the Community Arts Center’s Education & Outreach Coordinator. To begin, during the 1st class of each session, a simple survey will be given to each student. This will give the instructor the advance knowledge of understanding the students interest and preferences for finalizing curriculum. The instructor will teach both sessions and workshops. A qualified/certified American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreter will be present to interpret for the instructor and students. When necessary, additional instructors will lead classes and workshops to share their expertise. Exhibitions of student artwork will be held at the culmination of the programs has proven to be very successful with the students diligently preparing their work for presentation and anticipating their work being displayed for family, friends and the public.
The Community Arts Center of Cambria County's Senior Art Program entitled, “Young at Art” geared towards active residents in Assisted Living Facilities, individuals who are active in County Senior Centers, and retired people in our community. Young at Art is comprised of two, six week sessions over the late winter and spring. Each session has two components, one taking place in the Arts Center, located in the Westmont section of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The second component will take the same class to a local Senior Center, with a different Senior Center chosen for each session.
The Community Arts Center provides an enriching experience for senior and retired individuals throughout our community, and ignite in them the desire to be creative. Many of the senior and retired people who come through the doors of the Community Arts Center for events and exhibits have expressed a fondness for the art classes they took in their youth, and a sadness for those activities that they no longer participate due to simply having other things to focus on. Young at Art is designed to provide senior members of our community the change to reengage in activities and a creative process they thought ended in their youth.
CACCC has recently started to expand our Outbound Art initiative to serve those that have served our country in the military, as well as reaching out to their families.
Currently, the center is in the developmental stages of expanding Outbound Art to include the veteran community and their families. One of the newly established partnerships that anticipates beginning is with Cambria County’s Department of Veteran Services. The creative expression acts as a therapeutic outlet for those suffering from PTSD, along with their family members. This plus areas of immense strain that derive in military families can be channeled through artistic coping mechanisms.
“The art therapy journey serves as an agent of change, during which [service members] establish a new sense of self as creator rather than destroyer, as productive and efficacious instead of broken, as connected to others as opposed to isolated, and in control of their future, not controlled by their past.” [International Journal of Art Therapy]
Community Arts Center of Cambria County
1217 Menoher Boulevard, Johnstown, PA 15905 US
Accessibility is available upon request for those with disabilities or special needs issues. Please give us as much advance notice as possible to accommodate your needs.
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