Art for Orcas Kids

A*OK brings ART lessons to the students of the Orcas Island School District. Our mission is to:

  • Inspire creative thinking and problem solving
  • Introduce  the discipline of art-making and craftsmanship
  • Follow  the Washington Common Core State Standards for the Arts.
  • Honor the discipline of art-making and craftsmanship
  • Incorporate various cultures and art movements to expand our students’ knowledge of unique life experiences, social justice and current issues.

A*OK provides talented teaching-artists to work with students offering opportunity for students to tap into their imaginations, and create works of their own – the results can be transformative in the lives of children.

To that end, our Art for Orcas Kids (A*OK) program is looking forward to incorporating our curriculum in the best way possible. The folks at OIEF and the A*OK steering committee have budgeted for and have been providing supplemental art education at the Orcas schools since 2014 and we are happy to continue to offer art at school, and, in particular, the more in-depth exploratory classes with our talented teacher Ms. Brook Meinhardt. Ms. Meinhardt has professional training and experience in commercial illustration, graphic design, fine arts and many years of creating age based art curriculum.

A*OK receives grant money from the Orcas Island Community Foundation (OICF) and Arts in Education Program (ArtsWA / Washington State Arts Commission), as well as from fundraising events and generous private donations. A*OK often participates in OICF’s Annual GiveOrcas Grant Catalog Programs. Orcas Island School District recognizes Visual Arts as a Washington State mandated core subject and supports the A*OK program by providing a Certified Staff member to work alongside and sponsor our teaching artists in the classroom.

Orcas Island Elementary School Artists-In-Classrooms

A*OK is available to provide curriculum and brings local artists into the elementary school for 20 weeks. Every child (K-5th grade) has a once-a-week art experience, working in a variety of visual arts. This opportunity has had a profound impact on how students appreciate art.

Orcas Island Middle School Visual Art Exploratories

A*OK teaching artists provide in-depth instruction for middle school students. Four quarters of Visual Arts programming is provided weekly during “Exploratory” class offerings. Students have the opportunity to explore a variety of media, styles, and genres.

Orcas Island High School Art Club

A*OK teaching artist and Program Director Brook Meinhardt provides Orcas Island High School students with the opportunity to create and learn a variety of visual art techniques and delve deeper into specific artists and their style of work on a weekly basis. Because of A*OK, Students of all ages can express themselves in ways that cannot be put into words and they can work with guidance on portfolios.

Annual Student Art Exhibit at the Orcas Center, Eastsound, WA

Each year in May, to celebrate National Arts Education Month, a month-long student art exhibit is held at the Orcas Center. The exhibit features art created as a result of A*OK programming brought to K-8 classes. In addition, incredible Orcas Island High School student artwork is also on display.

Art Kits for Remote Learning

A*OK provided free, age-appropriate art kits were provided to students in all grades at the Orcas Island Public School following the 2020 state mandated school closures. “The minute schools closed, I thought of things I would do with my kids to keep them busy when they came home, and I thought of all my students and thought I could easily put together some kind of an art kit for school kids.” Each packet has different art exercises or projects for at home exploration and provided learning opportunities that were hands-on instead of virtual, an essential service during the pandemic.

Supporting A*OK:

So, if you love art and want to ensure that remarkable local artists can continue to work with Orcas Island public school students, a donation is always welcome.

You can securely and safely donate online to A*OK.

or you can send your check to:

PO Box 782
Eastsound WA  98245

Orcas Island Education Foundation, P.O. Box 782, Eastsound, WA 98245
EIN# 91-1276459 //

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