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Open Letter from Marfa Studio of Arts

Dear Friends of Marfa,

The Marfa schools eliminated arts education for children years ago. The lack of arts education is simply not acceptable for a town that is known as an art destination point.

A non-profit organization, MARFA STUDIO OF ARTS, is trying to fill this void. MSA implemented the SITES program which provides arts classes to children at the elementary school level. We hope to expand the program to include additional classes. Providing children with arts education is the sole focus of the organization.

Unfortunately, during our fall fundraiser, MSA received only 36 donations. Because of this, we are reaching out to all friends of Marfa and requesting that people provide a donation. Any amount, even just $10, helps support this program.

MSA has created an endowment fund that provides some revenue for the organization. In addition, MSA has been successful in obtaining grants from various organizations, including the Texas Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Sites program, however, requires additional amounts to help provide for teacher salaries, art materials, etc. It would be great if the school system would have ensured arts education, but it has not. Thus, it is up to the Friends of Marfa.

Reading, Writing and Arithmetic are the core foundation of a child’s education. But art is a key to imagination, optimism and dreams.
Donations can be provided to:
PO Box 1189
Marfa, TX 79843
Malinda Beeman, Director
Vilis Inde, President

The image was created by Mercedes, when she was in the 6th grade program.
An assortment of 4 different cactus cards can be purchased for $10 + shipping. Contact if you are interested.


Blogger Monica said...

One of the most disturbing things about Marfa to me, as a relative outsider, is the seemingly great divide between the people who come there for the art scene, and the local population. The most obvious gap, of course, is the lack of the arts in the lives of the local people - kids and adults - even though Marfa is considered a major arts destination. At the Conor Oberst show, I kept wondering where the local kids were... so odd to go to a show with so many older adults. In my visits there, I've noticed so few efforts to bridge the gap via non-profit organizations or other initiatives, though I am sure there are many I don't know about. I know there is no shortage of wealthy people there, and yet the schools are under performing, and the city can't afford to turn its lights on in the evening on the main street. At the farmers market on the weekend, there was a notable lack of, well, farmers. One woman said to me, "Seems like we mostly just sell to each other." Anyway, point being, I am happy to see this organization, and though I find it telling and sad that only 36 people donated during the initial fundraiser, I hope things change the second time around. Only a proactive effort (I heard a lot of "well, we invite them, but they just don't come" kind of comments) is going to make any difference. And just having a couple groups of kids come through the galleries on a yearly class trip is not going to cut it, I think.

30/11/08 10:47 AM  

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