It’s no secret that arts are alive and thriving in Michigan City, and at the hub of that spoke is Lubeznik Center for the Arts (LCA). Of utmost importance to LCA staff members such as Hannah Hammond-Hagman, education director, is accessibility for students of all ages to learn, grow, and explore new and existing passions, no matter their skillset.
Lubeznik Center for the Arts opens those possibilities by offering multiple scholarships for classes and arts education.
“What I always want to drive home when talking about scholarships is that we want everyone to know that nobody who is interested in exploring arts and classes is turned away ever,” Hammond-Hagman said. “We are so deeply committed to making sure that all of our programs are first and foremost accessible to everyone.”
Scholarships for classes and programs at LCA are designed for students of all ages and skillsets, regardless of their financial resources. Two, in particular, The Dolly Fund Scholarship for Young Artists and the LCA Adult Scholarship Fund, offer financial assistance for students ages 7 - 18, and ages 18 +, respectively.
Bringing funding for the arts to the public is a passion for Hammond-Hagman and has been since she was young. Working at LCA for the past seven years, three as the education director, has helped her mesh her love for the arts and education.
“It’s been my goal for as long as I can remember. I know what the arts can do for kids and young adults,” Hammond-Hagman said. “I’m also very interested in creating relevant programming for our students. For example, incorporating STEAM into our programming is another way we can expand their thinking and artistic capabilities.”
STEAM is a set of curricula that educates students specifically in the sciences, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. The integration of the arts into a traditional education setup helps challenge students in their way of thinking and discover new ways of problem-solving.
STEAM-based classes are becoming more available at LCA, according to Hammond-Hagman. Stop animation classes involve photography and computer knowledge, and new this summer will be the electric art class, where students can create light-up pieces and wearable art by learning more about circuits and electric maps.
Classes are flexible and taught over the course of six weeks. They also invite potentially interested students to sit in on special one-day classes to discover if they’re truly interested in the topic.
Some of the other classes available at LCA include fused glass, drawing, painting, watercolor, comic book storytelling, pastels, and even specialized writing courses. The writing program called Sandcastle Writers is a favorite of students and Hammond-Hagman.
“The writing program is extremely popular and has been for a great number of years here at Lubeznik,” Hammond-Hagman said. “The program is available for all ages and covers fiction, non-fiction, and poetry writing.”
Connecting the arts and education is a cornerstone for all the programs at LCA. The staff and the courses offered at LCA are closely knit with the Michigan City Area Schools and other after school programs as well.
“What makes us unique here at Lubeznik is the combination of our in-house classes, extensive outreach programs, and after school programs,” Hammond-Hagman said. “We open our doors to more than 2,000 students a year for after school learning tours and we are closely partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana and the Safe Harbor After-School Program as well.”
Hammond-Hagman and the staff at LCA educate students on certain projects and pieces out on display, making sure they are learning from everything they see at the Lubeznik Gallery.
Summer programs create opportunities for young artists to create art and showcase what they make. Summer classes consist of three week-long programs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., for ages 8 to 13. These summer camps focus on new material every week, evenly split between learning and studio time where kids can apply what they’ve learned. Parents and families are invited to Lubeznik at the end of each week so they can see what the kids are learning and creating - giving the students real-life experience in showcasing their work and helping them grow in confidence.
“Our in-house classes, programs, and summer courses offer students the opportunity to either learn new skills or home in on pre-existing skills and get better at what they do,” Hammond-Hagman said. “There are lots of classes that are suited for beginners, but we also have a lot of classes that help more experienced students learn more and keep growing.”
Through these scholarships, programs, and classes, Lubeznik Center for the Arts has helped create one of the most accessible art education programs in the Region and is looking to get implement more classes and summer courses. Registration is open for classes and summer courses starting March 16.
For more information visit them online at http://www.lubeznikcenter.org/ under the education tab. There you can find information about the available scholarships, classes, and more.