Last year the Richmond Street School lost their art program, but artist and photographer Jon Barber was having none of that. With only $1,000 in funding for the arts remaining in the school’s budget, (less than $2 per student for a year of art supplies and classes) and with his 4th grade son no longer having regular classroom art lessons nor an art teacher, Jon saw a need.
Jon began writing letters sharing his feelings and opinions about the loss of the art program. Then, he had a realization; he could make a difference here with his Game in the World. And so The Richmond Street School Art Project was born.
Also known as Studio 109 after the room number where the art classes are held, The Richmond Street School Art Project is a volunteer-based art program for the students of Richmond Street School.
Jon is excited about what’s been happening with the kids at his son’s school. On a weekly basis with the assistance of parent volunteers, the students are experiencing and creating art in their classrooms. The school has in place a visiting artist program, where professional artists volunteer their time and talent to share art at the schools lunch break with students. The kindergarten class recently created an amazing pastel animal project. The 4th grade class recently created masks in accordance with learning about Day of the Dead.
There was an art fair on February 12th where all the students of Richmond Street School displayed their framed artwork in an exhibition. The kids got to be honored, loud and proud. The parents and his team got to contribute to their kids and to know they were making something unpredictable happen.
Jon also saw that by starting the project, other schools might discover they didn’t have to worry about not having enough money and manpower to provide art education to their kids. Jon recognized that the Richard Street School Art Program provided an opportunity for people not only on his local team, but in his community as well. Where before, something was missing in his town, by sharing The Richard Street School Art Project, Jon now sees it as a place where people come together and create something beautiful.
Jon Barber, Team Los Angeles