MICHIGAN CITY, IN - Lubeznik Center for the Arts (LCA) in Michigan City strives to remove barriers and bring the arts to life for everyone in the community. While its programs and exhibitions attract visitors from Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and beyond, during the 2019/2020 school year LCA has focused on growth close to home by expanding its service area to include the City of La Porte and children who attend La Porte Community School Corporation (LPCSC) schools. This project is made possible thanks in part to support from the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte.
“LCA has had a thriving onsite and offsite arts education program for many years,” says Michelle Shirk, Development Director. “Thanks to this generous grant, we now have an opportunity to introduce our programs and exhibitions – which have a proven track record of impact – to a whole new population of La Porte County kids and families.”
In order to maintain a high level of program quality during its expansion, LCA’s staff created a capacity building plan that would allow the organization to gradually develop and support new school partnerships. In October of 2019, Laurel Izard joined LCA’s team as Education Coordinator. Izard is a local artist and educator who has worked in LCA programs for more than a decade. In her newly created role, Izard supports many facets of LCA’s new and existing education programs.
During the fall semester, LCA welcomed hundreds of students from Riley and Handley elementary schools to the center for learning tours of “The Chicago Imagists: Before and After.” In addition to discussing the artwork in LCA’s galleries, students created their own art in response to the exhibition. Participant feedback was very positive. One student commented, “I liked that you interacted with us.” Another reported, “I had a great time and learned a lot of things.”
Offsite, LCA held an 8-session STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) camp for second and third graders at Kingsford Heights Elementary School. At the conclusion of this program, 100% of participants expressed interest in learning more about STEAM projects and topics. In addition, LCA regularly participates in College and Career Readiness programs and events at La Porte High School.
Since the beginning of the 2019/2020 school year, nearly 600 LPCSC students and family members have been served through LCA’s programming. The organization’s staff is excited about the long-term possibilities for connections made through this expansion. “Students that have participated in school learning tours or other outreach programs are also attending our classes and summer camps and bringing their grown ups to our free Family Days,” says Hannah Hammond-Hammond, Education Director. “Engaging students in the making and discussion of art is our mandate, and these new relationships will continue to grow and develop into impactful and relevant programs.”
About Lubeznik Center for the Arts
Lubeznik Center for the Arts (LCA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that provides access to compelling exhibitions and programs that explore contemporary ideas. The organization is located at 101 W. 2nd St. at the lakefront in Michigan City, Indiana.
Admission is free year-round. Gallery weekday hours are from 10 AM to 5 PM. Weekend hours are from 11 AM to 4 PM. For more information, please visit www.lubeznikcenter.org or call 219-874-4900.