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March is Youth Art Month

Special Events at the Albany Museum of Art Include Awards Receptions and Theatrical Peformance 

Youth will be encouraged to “dream in art” in March with programming and special events at the Albany Museum of Art in recognition of Youth Art Month.

Highlights will include a special Saturday morning performance by the Kids Take the Stage theater class, the presentation of the 9th annual A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words essay contest awards, and the announcement of winning artists in the annual Kiwanis Student Art Show.

“Youth are our future, and art is integral to developing strong critical-thinking skills. Art sparks creativity and exposes new perspectives to people that prove invaluable when interacting with others and solving problems,” AMA Executive Director Andrew J. Wulf, Ph.D., said. “Those are skills tomorrow’s leaders will need. At the Albany Museum of Art, we are proud to have a robust array of programming that reaches every segment of our youth, from toddlers to high school students.”

Created as Children’s Art Month in 1961 by the Art & Creative Materials Institute to emphasize the importance of children engaging in the visual arts, the observance was renamed Youth Art Month in 1969 when the focus expanded to secondary school students. Fifteen years later, the ACMI formed the non-profit Council for Art Education to advocate for visual art education. CFAE coordinates the Youth Art Month program nationally.

“The idea behind Youth Art Month is to recognize the importance of art in the education curriculum and its integral role in the quality of life in not just the community but the world,” Wulf said. “It helps create awareness about the visual arts, the positive impact art has on youth, and the need to keep and improve art education in our schools and communities.”

Teaching leadership skills is an essential part of the AMA’s Teen Art Board program, which allows high school students to reach other teens through the common language of art. Each school year, the Teen Art Board selects a community project. This year’s group is working with artist Ramiro Davaro-Comas to create a mural in downtown Albany.

“The teens on the Art Board want to beautify and destigmatize downtown, where our future AMA home will be,” Director of Education and Public Programming Annie Vanoteghem said. “During Youth Art Month, they will be working hard to raise funds for the project, utilizing drawings by elementary school students. Ramiro and middle and high school students will paint the mural, making it a collaboration that includes the entire secondary school system.”

The special events at the AMA for Youth Art Month start on Thursday, March 7, with the 6 pm presentation of the 9th annual A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words essay contest awards to high school and college students. The top prize is $250 each for the first-place high school and college essayists. Second- and third-place essayists in each division also receive cash awards. The awards presentation is free and open to the public.

The submission period for essays ends at midnight on Thursday, Feb 29. For information about the competition, click HERE.

“The winning essayists will be invited to read their works, inspired by one of six designated art objects currently on view at the museum,” Vanoteghem said. “It’s always exciting to see how visual art is absorbed and then reformed into words through the imagination, perspective, and experiences of the writers.”

At 10 am on Saturday, March 9, six weeks of workshops led by children’s theater director Vicki Knuckles will culminate in a special scripted musical performance by the actors in Kids Take the Stage at the AMA. The event is free and open to the public.

“It’s been fun watching the kids as they learn their lines, stage moves, and the songs,” Vanoteghem said. “The workshops have been twice a week since late January, and these young actors have worked hard to learn and develop theatrical skills. Like the writing contest, it’s an example of how the visual arts can combine with other art forms to create a unique museum experience.”

On Saturday, March 16, the AMA will be the site for the 43rd annual Kiwanis Club Student Art Contest awards presentation. Local students compete in elementary, middle, and high school categories, with top winners attending regional competitions. Following the event, the artworks by the elementary school students will be on view March 18-30 in the Willson Auditorium of the AMA.

“Not to be lost among these special events is our monthly programming,” Vanoteghem said. “Toddler Takeover, our 30-minute art experience for kids 15 months to 5 years old and their caregivers and siblings, will be on Tuesday, March 5,” Vanoteghem said. “On Thursday, March 14, we will have our 90-minute Homeschool Day educational art program for homeschool students starting at 10 am.”

The registration link for Toddler Takeover can be found HERE.

The registration link for Homeschool Day can be found HERE.

Those will be followed by the two monthly After School Art Club sessions, workshops in which students learn art techniques and concepts, and are encouraged to develop their art skills further. “Our middle and high school Art Club students will be here from 4-6 pm on Monday, March 25, and elementary school students will have their club meeting from 3:30-5 pm on Tuesday, March 26,” she said.

The registration links for both art clubs can be found HERE.

While National Youth Art Month may wrap up on March 30, the AMA’s commitment to quality programming for kids continues April 1-5 with a week filled with art and fun—Spring Fling Art Camp.

“Registration is open now for our spring break art camp for kids in grades K-7,” Vanoteghem said. “We will create art, enjoy movies and dancing, spend some time outside playing games, and have other fun activities. It’s a colorful way to greet the spring season!”

The registration link for Spring Fling Art Camp may be found HERE.

If you have questions about these or any other AMA programs, contact Vanoteghem HERE or call her at 229.439.8400.




The Albany Museum of Art is located at 311 Meadowlark Drive in Albany, Ga., adjacent to Albany State University West Campus just off Gillionville Road. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The Albany Museum of Art is open to the public 10 am-5 pm Tuesdays through Saturdays. Admission is free.

For more information about the AMA please visit our website, or call 229.439.8400. Be sure to follow the Albany Museum of Art on Facebook and Instagram.