h4. It’s a great way to learn new techniques. The teachers are great and the projects are really fun. - Tessa, Age 11
The PNCA Youth Program offers a wide range of unique art and design classes for children and teens throughout the year. Our school-year courses, smARTworks, and teen workshops serve students between the ages of 4 and 16 years of age. For our younger students, our program is focused around investigative inquiry and play, similar to the Reggio Emilia approach. Reggio principles such as experiential and student directed learning, and the cultivation of student relationships and collaboration are emphasized during the curriculum creation process. For older students this emphasis on experimentation and artistic discovery is paired with a focus on deeper conceptualization of ideas and technical rigor.
The PNCA Youth Program also looks to the Kennedy Center’s ArtsEdge Visual Art Standards. Great care is taken to ensure that Youth Program students meet appropriate content and achievement standards at the Elementary, Middle School and early Secondary School level.
The mission of the Youth Program, like that of the Pacific Northwest College of Art, is to provide educational opportunities for children and teens. Our goal is to develop students into knowledgeable, practicing visual artists with the ability to contribute to the ongoing dialogue in art and the shaping of our culture. We want to help foster the next generation of artists.
In order to accomplish this mission, the program strives to achieve the following goals:
—To provide students with exposure to a variety of media
—To provide an educational, nurturing and supportive environment.
—To provide fundamental, technical and theoretical skills.
—To create curriculum that is inclusive of cultural & historical perspectives.
—To provide instruction utilizing high quality educators.
—To recruit an openly diverse community of students.
—To incorporate critical thinking and creative problem solving into the curriculum.
—To ensure faculty have an awareness of child development and create curriculum specific to age related developments.
—To provide students with the opportunity and encouragement to use self-expression and visual awareness with the goal of enabling students to use art as a lens to investigate the world.
With our mission and goals in mind we also hope that students of the Youth Program will:
—Build self-esteem and a stronger ability to represent oneself as an artist.
—Be able to apply the skills he/she has learned in the program and carry the experience of our creative environment into other endeavors.
—Gain the ability to evaluate one’s own work
—Have an understanding of a variety of materials and their quality.
—Communicate using common art vocabulary.
—Possess self-management skills and the ability to work effectively in a group or community environment.
—Understand the role of artists in community, society and culture.
Youth Program Staff and Faculty take great care to create a learning environment that is both engaging artistically and acts as a safe space, where all students feel respected, and where their ideas and art are valued. When a child feels safe and respected greater learning and experimentation can take place in Youth Program classrooms. Youth Program Faculty are encouraged to develop curriculum that integrates inclusive language, multiculturalism, and multiple historical perspectives.
h4. “I feel like smARTworks is an amazing program where kids can experiment with art in a fun and safe environment”, Aria, Age 11
In our classrooms we encourage the creative skills of pretending, imaginative thinking, and inventiveness during the art making process. These skills help children deal with the world in which they live and process the things that they see everyday. Additionally, we emphasize skills associated with problem solving, getting along with others, and looking at the world through alternative points of view.
h4. “smARTworks expects more of the kids and the kids deliver. The kids are often surprised at what they tried, learned and accomplished, and I love that.” - Youth Program Parent, 2014