I’ve always been surprised at how resourceful teachers are. Shoe boxes, bottle caps, old newspapers, packing peanuts…these cast offs become precious art materials that students sculpt into colorful creations in classrooms around North Carolina. Why do teachers dumpster dive? The joy that comes from the perfect ‘find’ is not what motivates them to scrounge. It’s supply budget, or lack thereof. When we ask teachers what they need to support art-based activities in art and non-art classrooms, they unanimously (and loudly) reply “supplies, supplies, supplies!” Most teachers in NC receive little to no funding to support their classroom instruction. Often they use what they can find or the pay for the materials out of their own pockets.
Give Colors to Classrooms is one way the NCMA is trying to raise awareness about this situation and increase support for students and teachers across the state. Visitors to our opening festival are encouraged to bring a set of markers, colored pencils and pastels to art and non-art classrooms across North Carolina. You provide the color. We’ll supply the paper. Together, we’ll make sure these riches get into the hands of our neediest students.