Growing Young Artists

Our Growing Young Artists (GYA) program interrupts students’ “at-risk trajectory” through creative educational experiences. The program augments core skills in literacy and language fluency, math and science. Just as important, it builds crucial social and emotional skills including problem-solving, collaboration, empathy, self-direction, and responsibility.

Educators, interested in brining the Growing Young Artists program to your school?

During the month of July, multimedia artist Sandra Antongiorgi will guide youth to create a thought-provoking, large-scale mural, for the Fennville community, exploring themes of belonging, healing and community.

Sandra Antongiorgi is an accomplished singer, songwriter, and painter from Puerto Rico. Sandra is currently based in Chicago and is an artist known for her thought-provoking visual art and World, Latin and Neo-Soul music.

Join us in downtown Fennville on July 31 for a Meet & Greet at Root Cafe 12-3PM, with a 1PM Live Performance By Sandra Antongiorgi.


Focusing on student assets

For the past ten years we have offered creative outreach programming to pre-K – 8th grade migrant students and Title 1 students attending Fennville Public Schools’ summer school programs. We recently added a collaboration with Outdoor Discovery Center to design impactful integrated learning experiences that incorporates nature-based art education.

Many schools in our West Michigan region run summer school programs for migrant children. These young people travel with their parents and are considered “at risk”, typically moving from school to school, state to state throughout the year as their parents travel for seasonal agricultural work.

These children also struggle with health issues, having a proportionally higher percentage of childhood obesity as compared to the rest of the population. And the average level of completed education for a Migrant Farm Worker is 8th grade, with 49.6% of students never reaching high school.


This is where Growing Young Artists comes in for migrant and other at-risk students. Through daily writing exercises, yoga and mindfulness, field trips to area museums and galleries, and lots of drawing and painting the GYA Artist in Residence and our teaching team helps students think about the roles they play in their families and communities and how they can use their voices positively, even having a lasting impact intheir community.


Impacting students, teachers, schools and community


Our Education Manager

This past summer students who were rarely praised, often in trouble or grade levels behind – were publicly celebrated. Their art work was the focal point of a community-wide event that solved our identified challenge: how to create an authentic bridge to the community’s Hispanic population. BIG issue, right?

To solve the problem, the students explored the question of what “A United World” might look like. Students as young as 4 years old came up with the “See Our Same” theme and were a part of designing an outdoor exhibition of symbolic fabric flags to visualized the statement.

Students were given a voice — it was incredible for them to publically share personalized pieces and for the community to see them, really see and listen to them.

It was powerful for the community leadership to see that – trusting students – significantly paid off. I know art IS the vehicle. Celebrating assets IS the focus. Community IS the classroom.


What Professionals Are Saying

True Stories From the Inside

Growing Young Artists Begins: Summer 2018

Inside the Classroom of Creativity

Through the Eyes of an Educator

Empowering Students, Empowers Instructors

Get In Touch

Location: 400 Culver St., Saugatuck, MI 49453

Telephone: (269) 857-2399


Office Hours: M-F: 9am – 4pm

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