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Urban Art Works~Support Teen Art

Updated on June 2, 2014


Support youth by supporting the arts! Want to read about a GOOD story? People doing GOOD things? Here is a great group doing great things in their community.

On their website, they say~ Something powerful happens when you give at-risk youth a chance to create public artwork. They find a positive way to express themselves. They feel more connected to their peers and communities. And they gain real-world skills that prepare them for the future. (taken from their website


Something powerful happens when you give at-risk youth a chance to create public artwork. They find a positive way to express themselves. They feel more connected to their peers and communities. And they gain real-world skills that prepare them for the future.

At ArtWorks, our goal is to empower young people with professional opportunities in the arts. Since 1995, our programs have fostered a new sense of self-esteem, self-motivation and self-sufficiency for more than 2,000 youth through pre-employment training and subsidized employment.

Our group was originally founded to help the SODO Business Association clean up the busway in Seattle's industrial zone. The plan was to create vibrant murals that would enrich the surroundings and discourage graffiti and litter. It was such a success, this area is now known as the SODO Urban Art Corridor.

This notable collaboration of private and public partners facilitated the creation of ArtWorks-an arts program uniquely able to reach out to at-risk youth while enriching our communities. The scope of our work has expanded far beyond the Art Corridor. Today, we create murals for schools, businesses and parks throughout the city-and we've added a wealth of new opportunities for young people to get involved with the arts and move their lives in a positive direction.

PICTURED is artist/writer Daniel Leon and his dad. Daniel was a winner of "Justice for all-student essay and art contest". a prize of $1000.

Drawing from the Right Side

We are NOT all the same. Nope some of us are way different. We think and respond the world and life in a different way from our left brain friends. YOU? Are in fact great, so get it out of your mind that you don't fit in or are not smart. You are an artist! This book tells you all about it.

Why America is Losing the Culture Race

by John Aschenbrenner

You have an original idea in America that's not a computer widget or an Internet marketing plan, but a painting, an opera, a novel? Sorry, there's no place for you in popular culture, spaces filled, please don't come back unless you're Lindsay Lohan or have an idea for an expensive weapon system or a lawn care product.

Other countries may love our television shows and movies, our stars and our celebrities, but when it comes to culture, they laugh at us.

America is the only country in the world that penalizes musicians and artists by providing no significant support to them whatsoever until they have achieved "celebrity," or at least enough social status to attract the interest of celebrities.

Before one is a celebrity in America, one is nothing, and nothing one does matters.

After, though, everything you have ever touched will become enshrined in nonsensical adoration. If Brittany Spears wrote a Symphony #5 or a Requiem, the New York Philharmonic would not hesitate to play it, for publicity value alone. But would they ever play a symphony composed by some pimply teenager who actually had an original idea?

Not unless that kid's dad was connected through the social network of classical music professionals.

You know whom I mean, the same record executives who carefully guided us from the golden age of Horowitz and Columbia records to the present state wherein there are no real classical record labels. Americans use Mozart to clear the teens out of malls at midnight.

There are no great classical composers any more because no one with real power gives the promising ones much help at all. The ones who could help them are too busy feathering their own nests.

What's the point? These painters and composers will never be in People magazine, and don't want to be. We're not talking about the Kennedy Center Honors: prizes like these and others like admittance to the fabled MacDowell Colony is reserved for established stars and artists with deep social connections to the small groups of ultra-conservatives governing these shrouded financial organizations.

And don't think you can walk in off the street and proclaim your talent. An organization like the National Endowment for the Arts is so full of pork that you needn't apply unless you can muster the support of the many not-for-profit professionals who will do their best to get a piece of your pie, if you get any.

Instead of funding worthy programs, these monoliths simply breed proposals, tailor-made to the "guidelines," veering as little as possible from the tried and true.

Their attitude is, "It's better to get money for something irrelevant than no money at all for something original and worthy." Getting money for something original and worthy in America is a lifetime of work in the style of Sisyphus.

In other words, people apply for grants for projects not that they want to do, but what they think the governing board will approve.

You still have an original idea in America that's not a computer doodad, but a statue, a musical, a lyric poem? There's no place for you in popular culture, spaces filled, please don't come back unless you can write to the beat of the Disney demographic drum.

Carl Sandburg would be thrown down the stairs at Disney and reproved for his "dry prose."

Can't that idiot Sandburg write a decent sitcom script for once so we can all make some money?

You could become an academic, and ride that gravy train of obedience and mediocrity for as long as you can.

But, like the army, you must join academia when you're young, and subsume yourself in the quasi-corporate culture of the university. Some can. Some can't. Some won't.

No, my son, be an artist in America, be free, proud, independent, and then go starve to death.

A culture that systematically destroys its artists needn't turn around and ask where they all went.

by John Aschenbrenner Copyright 2008 Walden Pond Press All Rights Reserved

John Aschenbrenner is an Emmy Award Winning Composer and a leading children's music educator, book publisher, and the author of numerous fun piano method books in the series PIANO BY NUMBER for kids.

You can see the PIANO BY NUMBER series at and

Article Source:


Urban Art Works empowers youth by offering professional opportunities in the arts.


TURN ON THE MUSIC as you enjoy learning about this wonderful group that empowers youth by offering professional opportunities in the arts.

Art makes the world hang right

Give at-risk youth a chance to create public artwork

I Journal to Track Mood Swings - Hurts and Triumphs

Poem that relates by Kathy Ostman-Magnusen

Creativity .. where do we find it? It feels fleeting sometimes doesn't it? Here is a poem of mine on that subject:

I Journal to Track Mood Swings - Hurts and Triumphs

A journal to track mood swings

goddess post

hurts and triumphs

longings met

longings denied.

Hopes for a better future

a better today.

Journals and their usefulness

words on pages

describing our hearts




People write for many reasons...

Esoteric glamour

of older women



Women needing to be loved

beyond lines

and sagging skin

and maybe menopause.

Ways to end relationships

lined up on a page

twists and turns



seduction leading to hope of resolve

or further indecision.

I write a journal

track my mood swings

a goddess post of sorts

written to myself.

Books read reflected upon

pictures I climb into.

Imagination enhanced

wonders defined.

I consider plots for seductive poems


workplace seduction in my kitchen

beware my lovely husband!

Smiles gone wild.

Yes, an esoteric glamour

romantic plans

fill my pages.

I outline relationship quizzes

list everything that is unmet

balanced with what is

and ponder it all

line up all my faults


leading to a certain understanding.

I walk in the mornings

take in newness

deep breaths

flowers and fresh mown grass

new ideas secured.

I plot out art ideas

while listing all my faults

committing to improvement

colors lend to new optimism

I take it in

line my palette with pigment

and plot on.

Deep breaths

Isn't that what 'they' tell you?

Take in life

take deep breaths.

I do

or at least I try.

Music in the background

as I list lessons to me

a journal listing my mood swings

for the moments calm.

So why write a journal?

Why write a goddess post?

How else to meet a new day!

Sorting out knows a sense of freedom

understanding what was not there before

best friend gift ideas

sent to me.

ABOUT Kathy Ostman-Magnusen: I am an artist, represented by Monkdogz Urban Art, New York. ORIGINAL ART may be purchased through Monkdogz:

FREE ART GIFTS, suitable for children plus prints, giclees, cards, available on my website:

National Endowment of the Arts - yay or nay?

It may surprise you to know, or maybe not, but the Republican platform does NOT support the National Endowment of the Arts. In fact, they aim to abolish it. First we remove it from the schools and then from our society. What might be the repercussions of that? Consider it and respond below. Thanks!

The Republican platform does not support the National Endowment of the Arts. Do YOU?

The Importance of Fine Arts in the Classroom - by Debbie Cluff

Image is "Little Girl" an 18x20 oil on canvas by Kathy Ostman-Magnusen (me!)

Fine Arts is defined in the Encarta Dictionary as being, "any art form, for example, painting, sculpture, architecture, drawing, or engraving, that is considered to have purely aesthetic value" (Encarta, 2004). Though this definition is used in relationship with the arts in the regular world, in regards to teaching, fine arts is defined as a subject beneficial, not essential, to the learning process and is often phased out because of lack of time, little learning potential, and no money. Fine arts is simply seen as painting and drawing, not a subject studied by an academic scholar. Writer Victoria Jacobs explains, "Arts in elementary schools have often been separated from the core curriculum and instead, offered as enrichment activities that are considered beneficial but not essential" (Jacobs, 1999, p. 2).

What is missing in classrooms is the lack of teacher knowledge of the benefits of maintaining an art- based curriculum. Teachers "have very little understanding of the arts as disciplines of study. They think of the arts instruction as teacher-oriented projects used to entertain or teach other disciplines" (Berghoff, 2003, p. 12). Fine arts expand the boundaries of learning for the students and encourage creative thinking and a deeper understanding of the core subjects, which are language arts, math, science, and social studies. Teachers need to incorporate all genres of fine arts, which include, theater, visual art, dance, and music, into their lesson plans because the arts gives the students motivational tools to unlock a deeper understanding of their education. Teaching the arts is the most powerful tool that teachers can present in their classrooms because this enables the students to achieve their highest level of learning.

From 1977 to 1988 there were only three notable reports demonstrating the benefits of art education. These three reports are Coming to Our Senses, by the Arts, Education and Americans Panal (1977), Can we Rescue the Arts for American Children, sponsored by the American Council for the Arts (1988), and the most respected study, Toward Civilization, by the National Endowment for the Arts (1988). These three studies conjured that art education was very important in achieving a higher education for our students. While these studies proved the arts to be beneficial to the learning process, it was not until 2002 when the research analysis of Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development "provided evidence for enhancing learning and achievement as well as positive social outcomes when the arts were integral to students' learning experiences" was taken seriously by lawmakers (Burns, 2003, p. 5). One study, in this analysis, was focused on the teaching of keyboard training to a classroom in order to see if student's scores on spatial reasoning could be improved. It was then compared to those students who received computer training which involved no fine art components. This concluded that learning through the arts did improve the scores on other core curriculum subjects such as math and science where spatial reasoning is most used (Swan-Hudkins, 2003).

This study shows how one little change in the way students are taught through the arts can have a powerful impact on their learning achievements and understandings. Another study showed at-risk students who, for one year, participated in an art- based curriculum raised their standardized language arts test by an average of eight percentile points, 16 percentile points if enrolled for two years. Students not engaging in this form of activity did not show a change of percentile (Swan-Hudkins, 2003). Though this may not seem like a big increase, at- risk students were able to use this style of learning to better understand their learning style thus bettering their learning patterns. The most interesting case study in this analysis involved the schools of Sampson, North Carolina, where for two years in a row their standardized test scores rose only in the schools that implemented the arts education in their school district (Swan-Hudkins, 2003). Teaching the arts needs to be incorporated in every teachers daily lesson plans because, based on these studies, students who are taught through the arts raise their test and learning levels.

Due to the high volume of attention President Bush's, No Child Left Behind Act, has required in schools, teaching the arts is left behind. Another reason for the lack of arts in the classroom author Victoria Jacobs explains, "Given the shrinking budgets of school districts around the country, art specialists and art programs have disappeared from many elementary schools" (Jacobs, 1999, p. 4). Fine arts are being seen as non-educational or an extra-curricular activity. Therefore, when there is a lack of money in school districts, this subject is easily being cut. Teachers need to find a way to incorporate the arts into the classroom rather than rely on outside activities and Jacobs suggests teaching "through the arts… with a means of using the arts successfully and in a way that it is not just "one more thing" they must include in the curriculum" (Jacobs, 1999, p. 4).

The arts can open the minds of students in ways mere reading and writing will never be able to accomplish. Yet, the point of teaching this subject is not to teach about the arts, but to teach through the arts. Jacobs explains,

Teaching though the arts requires students to engage in the act of creative art. For example they might draw a picture, write a poem, act in a drama, or compose music to further their understanding of concepts in content areas other than the arts. Teaching through the arts helps students experience concepts rather than simply discussing or reading them. This approach is consistent with educational theories that highlight the importance of reaching multiple learning styles or intelligences. (Jacobs, 1999, p. 2)

Teaching through the arts can be done in many different ways depending on the teacher's interests, but truly is the only way to reinforce the students learning experience. In a time where budget cuts and new learning laws are being established, teachers need to be more informed and educated on the negative impacts of the loss of the fine arts programs.

Three, veteran teachers at a public elementary school did a case study which involved teaching through the arts. They believed "our students had to experience cycles of inquiry wherein they learned about the arts and through the arts, and that they needed to see teachers of different disciplines collaborate" (Berghoff, 2003, p. 2).

The study was based on teaching a history lesson unit on Freedom and Slavery through the arts. Ms. Bixler-Borgmann had her students listen to the song "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" in many different styles of music, such as an African-American Quartet, Reggae, and Show Tunes. She then incorporated this lesson into the importance singing played to the slaves at that time. Ms. Berghoff had her students read samples of African-American folk literature and write down sentences that made an impact on them while they were reading. She then incorporated those sentences into group poems. Ms. Parr explored two art pieces entitled, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" and had the students talk about artwork by asking three questions: "What is going on in this picture? What do you see that makes you say that? What else can you find?" (Berghoff, 2003). She also had the students focus on the images, concepts, and meanings which the artists wanted to depict. Ms. Parr felt this would teach the students how to uncover the hidden meanings in other core curriculum subjects (Berghoff, 2003). After the study, the students were asked what and how they had learned from this style of teaching.

Many students wrote in their journals that working in multiple sign systems in parallel ways heightened their emotional involvement. They found themselves thinking about what they were learning in class when they were at home or at work. They noted that even though they had studied slavery at other times, they had never really imagined how it felt to be a slave or thought about the slaves' perspectives and struggles. (Berghoff, 2003)

The students had learned more from this lesson because they were able to use all styles of learning and were taught from an angle which is rarely used, through the arts. "Studies indicate that a successful arts integrated program will use these components to guide student learning and assess growth and development (Swan-Hudkins, 2003). The students were able to learn based on abstract thinking and find the deeper meaning of the lessons prepared by the teachers.

"The study of the arts has the potential for providing other benefits traditionally associated with arts….arts has been linked to students' increased critical and creative thinking skills, self-esteem, willingness to take risks, and ability to work with others" (Jacobs, 1999, p. 4). With these benefits, teachers can not afford to limit their teaching of the arts in the classroom. Teaching through the arts are the key elements of learning and the traits teachers strive to establish and reinforce in their students. By working through the arts, instead of about the arts, the students' educational experience will be achieved in a different way than just teaching the standard style of learning. Former Governor of California, Gray Davis, noted, "Art education helps students develop creativity, self-expression, analytical skills, discipline, cross-cultural understandings, and a heightened appreciation for the arts" and that "students who develop artistic expression and creative problem solving skills are more like to succeed in school and will be better prepared for the jobs and careers of the future" (California Art Study, 2003, p. 1).

Exposing students to abstract learning will teach

More Art Stuff

Pick and choose it. I confess I want it all!

Painting a Wall Mural


Change Begins With the Youth ~ Support Their Talents

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    • sponias lm profile image

      sponias lm 

      5 years ago

      I agree that we must give our support to all artists. This is a meaningful topic.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      6 years ago

      Lovely lens! You are right - the arts need to be encouraged! Angel Blessed.

    • norma-holt profile image


      6 years ago

      Another good lens demonstrating again your lovely skills. Urban art should be encouraged in the right places. Unfortunately many public buildings, trains and private premises are being defaced by frustrated people who think it is OK to spread their paint in all directions. Blessed and featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012. Hugs

    • sousababy profile image


      6 years ago

      Art is just as important as math and science (imho). Great work here, love that portrait of "Little Girl" (an 18x20 oil on canvas) by you. Your use of color, brush strokes and how you create reflections is amazing . . such expressive work. Keep it coming!

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 

      6 years ago

      american graffiti accepted but not in new buildings. they should make the art in walls provided by the local municipality. squidangel blessings.

    • GeekGirl1 profile image


      6 years ago

      Beautiful lens, thank you so much, love urban art.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 

      6 years ago

      the youth art is called american graffiti.

    • delia-delia profile image


      8 years ago

      Hello Kathy from a Squidoo Greeter! what a great way to do an art venue, especially for those that have no other way of sharing their creative talents

    • WildFacesGallery profile image


      8 years ago from Iowa

      I think having art for young people is extremely important. After that I'm not so sure. I'm an artist who supports myself through my art and have yet to write for grant money for anything. The arts are important just not sure how much should be funded through taxes. But again I feel art for young people is extremely important.


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