Resilient Community Arts is honored to receive funding from the Markham Nathan Fund for Social Justice. The grant will directly support expenses related to the fall session of the Maple Street Artists Afterschool Program, serving 2nd-5th grade students from Milton Bradley School. The program takes place in the recreational space at South Congregational Church on Maple Street in Springfield. Each Maple Street Artists session serves up to 20 students and concludes with a community art show inviting the young artists’ families and caregivers to view the group’s creations.

After a pilot program this winter,  the popularity of the program has spread throughout the school, the demand has increased for more students to have their studio time in The Maple Street Artists group. We are excited for the program’s rapid growth and looking forward to partnering with local Springfield-based artists, specifically BIPOC artists, to visit the student’s studio sessions and inspire their work. In 2024, partnerships with black Springfield-based professional artists will help student participants produce their own work to be exhibited in conjunction with Juneteenth celebrations taking place in the city. 

The teaching method used in all RCA programs and especially The Maple Street Artists is based around a pedagogical approach called Teaching for Artistic Behavior, or TAB. In a TAB art room, the space is seen as the student’s studio and the children shape the direction of their learning based on their interests. With the generous space we have access to in South Church, TAB methodologies have allowed these young artists to bloom into confident creators. In just our first 5 week session, we saw students teach one another new skills, collaborate on inventive concepts, build structures together, and rotate through different activities to try a variety of skills and art media.” Maddie McDougall, Resilient Community Arts