The Winthrop Arts Mobile Art Factory has once again expanded its reach. Winthrop Arts began to provide free art classes to students whose families receive services from Achieve Plant City in January.
Achieve Plant City was established to empower families and individuals to achieve success through education. It focuses on family literacy. Children whose parents attend adult literacy classes at Achieve Plant City are eligible to attend its after-school program. Once a month, these children work with Winthrop Arts Mobile Art Factory’s lead art instructor, Bryant Martinez, to create beautiful works of art.
Angelica Ibarra is the executive director for Achieve Plant City.
Ibarra said, “There are many reasons that moms come to us for help. They are often frustrated because they cannot communicate with their child’s teacher or be involved in medical care. They cannot set up appointments, help with homework or even understand their child’s report card.”
At Achieve Plant City, children learn to read, write and speak, and they learn computer skills. Ibarra said, “We want to help everybody to better themselves through literacy.”
She added, “Winthrop Arts has provided an opportunity for our children that has never been available to them. I have seen how art builds their self-esteem. At first, they were learning basic techniques, but by the third class, they were proud of their accomplishments. Seeing their faces was amazing.”
The Winthrop Arts Mobile Art Factory is a grant-funded program that provides free art classes to underserved children who live in Southern and Eastern Hillsborough County. The program is unique in that the instructors go to the children and provide the art classes. This eliminates the barrier that many underserved children face in not being able to get to art classes outside of school.
Funding for the Winthrop Arts Mobile Art Factory comes from the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, Plant City Arts Council and Suncoast Credit Union.
Martinez said, “I love working with the students in the Mobile Art Factory classes. Their love of art and their creativity inspire me. We want all students to have the opportunity to dream, create and see the world through art.”
Ibarra said, “The art classes have shown our students that they can do so much more. I look forward to continuing the partnership with Winthrop Arts.”