mebyrachelelizaSMALLBy any measure our first two summers in Mississippi were a smashing success! With your help, this summer we will do even more.

Last year we brought excellent teachers who taught poetry, guitar, performance and art classes for three weeks. We also provided the kids and teachers with healthy lunches every day. All this was at no cost to them or their families.

TerryWritingWorkshopGAP15

Author Terry McMillan giving GAP teens a writing exercise.

During the program we got an inspirational visits from actor Danny Glover, who flew all the way from San Francisco to show his support. He told the kids, “Whenever you are using your imagination, you are making art.” He sat in on some of our workshops, spent tons of time with the kids and their parents, and signed a seemingly endless stack of autographs. And Terry McMillan, author of Waiting to Exhale and numerous other novels, who gave the kids a free writing workshop.

Being a parent is tough, especially in Mississippi, a state where chronic poverty contributes to the highest high school dropout rate in the country. But studies have shown that access to arts education invests kids more in school and that in turn makes them much more likely to graduate. Staying in school gives these kids a real shot at success.

We were alarmed, however, to read from the Associated Press that Mississippi will have a public education funding gap of $1.5 billion in 2015! (Jeff Amy, AP, Huffington Post, December 11, 2014.) That’s why we’re committed more than ever to bringing our arts camp to Gloster every summer.

The Gloster Project was created out of the simple idea that kids do best when they have access to education. And we believe that arts education enables children to get a bigger sense of the world, and ultimately, a bigger sense of themselves.

We firmly believe that exposure to the arts, culture, and history should be available to everyone, especially to kids in chronically under-served areas like Gloster. We also believe that education is the best weapon in the fight against poverty, and with the generous donations from family, friends, local businesses, and donors from around the country, we made our first free summer arts camp happen!

Please help us bring the arts to kids in Gloster again! Donate today!

The Gloster Project is funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.