Walton Arts Center strives to improve the entire learning process of Northwest Arkansas students by providing multiple ways to investigate the arts. We have looked at a few arts-integration professional development opportunities for the teachers of NWA, but we also offer programs that directly interact with students. This past year, WAC’s student engagement programs have positively impacted over 6,200 people!
Workshops, master classes and chances to meet and work with touring artists allow students to step out of their learning norm and engage in creative experiences. One new approach to learning is Youth Volunteer Corps which gives students the chance to work one-on-one with WAC professional staff.
WAC partnered with Camp War Eagle in an effort to recruit participants for the program, provide transportation and English to Spanish language translations of all documents. Students were chosen based on a written essay and four letters of teacher recommendation.
“My appreciation and love for the arts sparked and sky rocketed!” said a Youth Volunteer Corps participant. The semester-long program involved students in the everyday events of working and presenting the arts to the public. Students were involved in backstage tours, job orientations and learning about the business of presenting – including areas like Box Office, Communications, Development, Programming, Educations, Production and Tech. An end product of their delving into the arts was participation in five education shows. The students worked and presented the shows to over 2,000 audience members!
Concluding the program was a reception honoring the students, a viewing of War Horse and final evaluations of the students’ progress. Through the final evaluations WAC gained a better understanding of how the students responded to the lessons taught at Youth Volunteer Corps. Feedback included 100 percent of the students gained confidence and a better understanding of themselves, understand more about careers available in the presenting arts and feel better prepared to make school, class or career choices.
We are proud of the students that participated in Youth Volunteer Corps, as well as all of our student engagement programs! For more information about Youth Volunteer Corps watch Walton Arts Center Youth Volunteer Corp Video presented by CampWarEagle365. Visit our website to learn about more community opportunities with Walton Arts Center!