CICF News / 2012 / October / News Post
October 17, 2012
Connecting Youth to the Arts

With arts education programming declining in schools, Marwen, a Chicago-based nonprofit, helps meet a need for arts education by providing access to visual arts programming for more than 2,400 youth in grades six to twelve each year representing 200 Chicago Public Schools.

Research shows that involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skill. Through Marwen's intensive art education programming, students benefit from an average of two and a half hours of art instruction per week over a course of eight-week terms and have access to more than 85 classes in painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpture, photography and printmaking.

Professional artists teach technical art skills and encourage sophisticated, creative and analytical thinking through hands-on instruction and art history education. Students learn through media presentations, discussions, demonstrations, visits by guest artists and field trips.

Almost 90 percent of the youth served by Marwen are from low-income households, and Marwen ensures that financial means are not a barrier. Families who cannot afford to pay receive free art education programming with Marwen.

The Efroymson Family Fund values programs that provide access to enriching art experiences, especially programs that serve those who don't have the financial means. Since 2004, the Efroymson Family Fund has been a consistent supporter of Marwen and their efforts to provide high quality arts education for Chicago youth.

"I was fortunate that my parents were able to take me to museums. My hope is that we can make it possible for many children to have their own experiences with art." - Elissa Efroymson, Vice Chair, Efroymson Family Fund

To learn more, watch this Marwen YouTube video.

Marwen offers arts programming in six specialized studios and has two exhibition galleries to show student work .
Over the years Marwen students have created countless self-portraits in all kinds of media.Marwen sculpture students worked to create an outdoor sculpture garden at Marwen.