Pictured: Robert and Pauline White of the Sturbridge Rotary Club visit the arts center in Southbridge to talk about free children’s art classes offered by QVCAH. The Sturbridge Rotary provided funding for the program.
By Sarah Champagne, Managing Editor

SOUTHBRIDGE – Quinebaug Valley Council for the Arts and Humanities is offering its annual children’s summer art workshop this year with the help of the Rotary Club of Sturbridge.

The popular class runs in two sessions, both serving two age groups. The current session runs from July 9 to July 13. Children ages six through eight attend a morning session five days a week. Kids ages nine or older attend a class immediately following the younger set’s class each day. There is a second session scheduled for July 16 through July 20, but that session is full.

The Sturbridge Rotary sponsored the program at the arts center in whole this summer, alongside grants to the Tri-Community YMCA and Literacy Volunteers of South Central Massachusetts, and other local organizations. Sturbridge Rotarians Robert and Pauline White recently visited QVCAH’s art center at 111 Main Street in Southbridge to discuss the importance of the program and why QVCAH was chosen for funding.

“We are very interested in supporting youth and children’s programs. One of Sturbridge Rotary’s areas of focus is youth and youth development,” comments Mr. White.

Eli Quinn Chumsantivat of Charlton poses with one of his paintings made at free local art classes.

The Sturbridge Rotary has recently awarded a series of grants to organizations serving youth development in Sturbridge and nearby towns. The round of grants comes from the Sturbridge Rotary’s Education and Charitable Trust and seeks to provide access to enriching experiences and support for children.

There has never been a fee for enrolling in the kids’ summer art classes that QVCAH offers. The annual program is open to students in any of the twenty-five towns that the arts organization serves. However, there are several costs involved in running the program, ranging from art supplies to a very modest stipend for the instructors who spend months planning, organizing and holding the classes. The instructors are longtime members of the arts organization and they bring a lifetime of experience as artists to the classes.

Students in this year’s cohort come from a range of towns including Southbridge, Sturbridge, Charlton, Brimfield and beyond. Many of the kids return to the program year after year and many become involved in other QVCAH programs after taking a class.

QVCAH is very grateful to the Sturbridge Rotary for their help with this year’s summer arts programming.

Lucas Matthew Jalbert and Molly Claire Jalbert of Sturbridge pose with some of their creations.

“They have been very supportive in so many ways to us and I have been very grateful,” comments a leading member of QVCAH.

The two sessions of the art classes will culminate in a “mini-gallery” show and opening Sunday, July 22 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at 111 Main Street in Southbridge. The annual event is presented like a professional art opening and the children who have participated will have the opportunity to proudly show their work to family and loved ones.

L – R: Linneah Mahlert of Brimfield, Sofia Rovezzi of Sturbridge and Leah Phaneuf of Brimfield pose with their artwork.

The Sturbridge Rotary Club has been providing humanitarian service to the local and international community for over 45 years. The Club addresses many of today’s most critical issues including hunger, as well as support programs for youth, educational opportunities and international exchanges for students and professionals. For more information on what Sturbridge Rotary does, visit www.sturbridgerotary.org or  at www.facebook.com/sturbridgerotary.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.