"Smart Art Project" was conceived by the Rotary Club of Chicago
Financial District and has now grown to include multiple Clubs
throughout Rotary's District 6450.
feel it is unacceptable for any child to live in an environment of
constant violence... or to lack some type of basic art education.
According to an article from the New York Times... "Art Makes You
Smart!" The purpose of the program is NOT to train potential artists... but rather
to develop the mind to think in different ways and perspectives.
An environment of violence, in whatever form, stifles the ability of a
child to develop to his or her potential. Far too often, it ends the
life of a child.
There are many
organizations doing great things to address the problem, but as a
community, a country, and a world, we've got to do more! We've got to stop
failing future generations. The "Rotary Smart Art" program is designed to supplement, not supplant, the work of others. "Smart Art" is a basic awareness program for elementary school children that exposes them to what art is... so as to "spark their imagination, creativity, and to develop new ways of thinking." Using
Art as the medium, the message is that violence (in all its ugly forms,
to include domestic violence, bullying, and street violence) is not
a given and must be diminished... or eliminated.
Started by the Rotary Club of Chicago Financial District, our team now consists of multiple Rotary Clubs... plus the Near South Planning Board ... Smart Museum of Art... and the University of Chicago Provost's Office. Our goal is to continually expand the program, first in Chicago, and then ever outward. The goal is to enlist involvement from communities, residents and businesses. At present, the program consists of:
1. An Initial Visit to the Smart Museum at University of Chicago for an interactive introduction to art.
2. 10 in school classroom sessions with our Art Director, spread over a 5 week period, with a focus on awareness of violence
issues through the use of various art techniques and media.
3. A 2nd visit to the Smart Museum so the children can share what they have learned, display their own art work, and interact
with museum staff and volunteers who also participate in the program.
4. The final Museum Visit is very exciting and includes a catered lunch.
Volunteer helpers assist with the in-class sessions and museum visits. The cost to conduct one class of 30 students is $2,500. The original "Pilot Program" was launched with one Chicago Southside School in 2014. Learning from that initial experience, it was then expanded to two schools in the second year... and, with additional "streamlining", we conducted the program on an even larger scale (7 schools) during 2016. As more people get involved, we can continue expanding the program, which has received "rave reviews" from the students and faculty who benefit from the program. Would you like to join us?
Click the "Studiology" video below to meet our Art Director,
Kevin Sparks (aka "Mr. K")