Students participate in the San Benito County Arts Council's STEAM Art Camp at the ARTspace ANNEX in Hollister. Photo provided.
Students participate in the San Benito County Arts Council's STEAM Art Camp at the ARTspace ANNEX in Hollister. Photo provided.

This article was contributed by the San Benito County Arts Council.

When students participate in the arts, they have the opportunity to unlock their natural creativity, to explore their imagination, and to solve problems in inventive ways. The arts are an essential part to a well-balanced education, especially when integrated with other subjects such as history and science. And most importantly, when the arts are offered in school, everyone gets to participate—the arts level the playing field.

The mission of the San Benito County Arts Council is to activate and engage people, community, and spaces through arts, culture, and creativity. Their programs and services provide arts and cultural experiences/opportunities to children, families and residents throughout San Benito County.

The council’s most impactful program, Arts in Education, is built on the belief that every child has the right to a quality arts education. This program currently serves over 6,000 students at 17 local schools in San Benito County, including incarcerated youth, low-income families, and youth and adults with special needs. Some of the art programs include teaching artist residencies, cultural performances, after school art programs and community art classes. Without the support of generous donors, individuals, and businesses, local students would have little to no exposure to the arts through these vital programs.

The San Benito County Arts Council is making big things happen. Starting in September, the Arts Council will provide weekly art classesto every third-, fourth- and fifth-grader in the Hollister School District.  That’s over 73 hours of art classes per week, serving approximately 2,000 students! They are also launching a new third grade music program at three local school sites. Art programs will expand in San Juan and Aromas, and the Arts Council will also continue some of their beloved mainstay programs, such as the After School Mariachi program, Life Skills Art program and Dreams Project.

On September 10, our community will come together for San Benito GIVES, 24 hours of unprecedented nonprofit giving—and this is an opportunity to make a real difference in San Benito County. The Arts Council’s goal is to provide every student at every school with weekly arts instruction. Help them create student equity in the arts by donating today!

Make a donation in support of the Arts in Education program here now through September 10..

For more information on the San Benito Arts Council’s Arts in Education program can be found here. Visit here for more about San Benito Gives.