Saugatuck Center for the Arts
Growing Young Artists
Program Begins


SUMMER, 2018

July 9- August 1

Growing Young Artists (GYA) is underway at Fennville Public Schools. Instructors have prepared their lessons, our Artist in Residence, Victoria Martinez has arrived and is meeting in the classroom with students.

Our Growing Young Artists program interrupts students’ “at-risk trajectory” through creative educational experiences. The program uses art as a medium to learn core skills in literacy and language fluency, math and science. GYA goes beyond the traditional textbook aiding the students in building social and emotional skills including problem-solving, collaboration, empathy, self-direction and responsibility.

This summer we’re working with pre-K through 8th grade migrant students and, for the first time, Title 1 students attending Fennville School.


“We’re thrilled to expand Growing Young Artists to serve “at risk” students along with migrant students in Fennville this summer,” said SCA Executive Director Kristin Armstrong. “We’ve tracked student outcomes for the past seven years — we know Growing Young Artists truly helps students learn more deeply. It’s very exciting to pull more students into this program and affect more change.”


Migrant students are considered “at risk” because they move from school to school and state to state throughout the year. Growing Young Artists was developed as a way to bridge the gap for these children who often struggle to meet core academic standards.

Our Artist in Residence and GYA Instructors take their past experiences to serve these students specifically. Chicago-based Artist Victoria Martinez is a positive role model with relatable Latino narratives for marginalized youth and uses her artistic talents to impact the world for good.

“I’m most excited to have the opportunity to work with migrant youth,” said Martinez. “ I feel as this youth audience is often overlooked and I’m grateful to collaborate with them through exploring techniques and socio-emotional learning. It’s my responsibility as an artist to share my knowledge with young people and help them communicate their feelings through interactive art experiences.”

First-year GYA Instructor Avery Burke is a Senior at Texas Christian University, studying Elementary Education with a specialization in Special Education and Spanish Minor and weighs in on how this program is a perfect fit for her.

 “I am looking forward to getting to know the students and growing together as a classroom community,” said GYA Instructor Avery Burke. “This experience integrates my passion for education within marginalized populations and Hispanic culture. Growing Young Artists is allowing me to utilize a project-based learning model while encouraging my dual language proficiency.”

We are excited for Growing Young Artists and the impact this learning approach will have on students, families, educators, artists and community. At the end of GYA, a community celebration will take place in downtown Fennville on August 1 at 7 p.m. Collaborative student artwork will be on display with performances and an ice cream social for the whole family. We hope to see you there!

Want new articles before they get published? Subscribe to our newsletter.