Hey all, Miss Megan here. I know I haven't taken the time to talk to all of you about my latest venture, the West Texas Art for Everyone Scholarship Fund (or #WTXA4E as I like to call it), so I thought I'd take a moment to discuss it further and let you know what it is, what our goals are, as well as what we've already been able to accomplish.
To start, what is #WTXA4E? Well, it's a Community Arts scholarship fund. By Community art we mean just that, ways to give back to the community that has so lovingly embraced me and this little studio, and we're dividing the fund into three "branches," if you will...
Branch one: Community Arts Outreach
As many of you know, the neighborhoods surrounding Miss Megan's Make Room are filled with kids, many of whom don't have much in the way of nearby after school activities, or even the funds to participate in what little IS available in the neighborhood. We'd like to change that, so that's branch one of our scholarship tree. Our hope is to offer Arts Outreach Programs in partnership with other local non-profits in the area. In April I'll begin hosting art classes at Lubbock IMPACT and will be donating materials purchased via #WTXA4E's funds to the center so they can ALWAYS have the ability to share art with the kids who spend time there. As a fairly recent transplant to this community I didn't know much about Lubbock IMPACT or what they do, but after a brief meeting with one of their Directors, Joy Urlaub, I must say I am in awe. In addition to hosting meals, clothes drives, medical and dental clinics and more, they also run a mentorship program for kids. If you aren't familiar with their work, please visit their website and Facebook page. These classes are just the first of what I hope will flourish into a series of classes all over town (or right here in the studio) in conjunction with a wide variety of community based programs.
Branch two: Community Arts Scholarships/Sponsorships
Lubbock has an arts community that grows and grows and we'd like to be there to support it in any way we can. Whether providing funds for a single student to attend classes at the studio or to help other groups in their arts education or outreach endeavors, we want #WTXA4E to be there to offer finances when we aren't able to physically participate.
Already this year, with the help of the #WTXA4E fund, we've been able to sponsor two different events. The first is Creativity Camp, hosted by Brynnan Brooks, a local teen who saw a need for encouragement of creative interests in her peers and started an annual camp to do so. Creativity Camp offers mini-sessions on a wide variety of creative subjects, all taught by local teens to elementary kids, and we couldn't be happier to be able support such a like-minded endeavor by such a driven young woman.
The second event we've sponsored with help from #WTXA4E is Art Peace 2018. Art Peace is a local group of artists who are donating time and energy to create works of art to be raffled at a special event on May 12, with all proceeds from the event supporting OneVo!ceHome. As a local maker I am inspired by the artists donating time, materials, energy, and their craft to the benefit of such an extraordinary charity. OneVo!ceHome provides shelter and support to victims of sex trafficking, primarily girls aged 11-17. Unfortunately I had to turn down an opportunity to offer my personal creative services to this amazing and much-needed non-profit due to time constraints, so I jumped at the chance to be able to sponsor this special event with the help of our recently established scholarship fund. Special thank you to anyone who ordered a #WTXA4E t-shirt, your purchase directly made this donation possible; and we hope this is just the beginning! For more info on Art Peace and the event, please visit their Facebook page. You can learn more about and donate directly to OneVo!ceHome on their website.
Branch three: Public Art + Community Beautification
I love public art, murals specifically (and yes, even some graffiti). I've painted murals myself in both public and private spaces, sometimes paid with cash, once with coffee (who could turn that gig down??), and sometimes while taking a financial loss. I would like to support public arts projects of all kinds (starting with a mural on the alley side of Miss Megan's Make Room) while also supporting a local artist in the process. Hence, Branch 3 of #WTXA4E is to provide materials and funding for such projects, including items like paint, scaffolding, permits, and whatever else is required to help make Lubbock an even more arts-inclusive place. In the future I hope this portion of #WTXA4E will also provide us with the ability to host an annual or semi-annual Miss Megan's Make Room Block Party, in which we would close off the street and alley for an old-school, everyone's welcome, art themed carnival, with the fund again covering any permit costs.
I hope this post has inspired you as much as this community has inspired me! Thank you for your support of Miss Megan's Make Room in the last year+, it is my hope that those who can will be equally supportive of spreading some art love! If you have any questions, please contact me directly via email or phone. To donate to the fund, please visit our Patreon page! You can choose which branch of the fund you'd like to support, and I'm offering various rewards for different levels of donations. To order a #WTXA4E T-shirt, please contact me or stop by the studio to fill out an order form. Thanks again!