Inclusive arts environment needed

Published 8:59 pm Friday, June 26, 2020

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To the editor:

Having an open and inclusive environment for students is especially important given the state of our world. As an art teacher, I strive to create opportunities for my diverse group of students to interact with others and explore the exciting world of art.

While this is only my first year teaching art to students online at Virginia Virtual Academy, I’ve found many ways to provide them with a creative safe space to share their artwork and ideas. After our in-person field trip to the Visual Arts Center of Richmond was canceled due to COVID-19, I organized a virtual art show for students to have the chance to showcase their work.

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Students submitted artwork in all forms, as well as poetry and short videos talking about how art makes a difference in their lives. Nearly 100 students and staff attended the online gallery show. Students loved that their work was featured online for everyone to see.

Art class is an important way for many students to fit in and find like-minded friends at school.

Now more than ever, students need a creative outlet to express themselves. When it comes to art education, online schooling is not a limitation. I know without a doubt that kids can have a valuable fine arts experience online, and our virtual art show is a testament to that.

Amanda Crawford