Bringing art into the classroom since 1990

ARTsmart’s classes for children from kindergarten to high school are based on the award-winning  Fine Art for Children and Teens (FACT) method, which has been refined over 25 years in response to student needs and teacher feedback. Each ARTsmart lesson supports the development of multiple skills and positive behaviors. The method proceeds from exploration to understanding, application, action, evaluation, and appreciation—all the elements needed to help children become creative problem-solvers for the rest of their lives.

Classroom Environment. Students enter a safe and structured setting that supports making choices and taking risks. They are seen and heard, and recognize that their ideas are important.

Art Sources. Students explore cultural diversity and identity through verbal discussion and visual examples from contemporary and art historical sources. A sense of identity and pride is instilled, as well as opening up young minds to other traditions.

Language. Students learn new vocabulary, which is explained and utilized in brainstorming. Students use these words to talk about their projects during artmaking and critique, which takes place in English and/or other appropriate languages, such as Spanish.

Demonstration. Students are exposed to techniques, processes, and materials and are encouraged to experiment with them in conveying personal ideas and feelings.

Artmaking. Students have hands-on access to quality materials, tools, and a variety of advanced techniques to create ambitious projects.

Critique. Students share feedback about their own work and that of their peers. They learn how to articulate ideas, present a project with pride, and make respectful, positive observations.

Exhibits. Student artworks are displayed at program sites, local businesses, and galleries. Exhibits build a student’s confidence and self-esteem, as well as educating the public about the importance of outreach programs.

Common Core State Standards. Students have a holistic educational experience that focuses on content and the skills of critical thinking and purposeful questioning. Common Core Standards are enhanced by teaching students to break down a process, manifest it, talk about it, and explain how problems were creatively solved.

ARTsmart’s ARTclub after-school programs, which follow the FACT method, were given the 2010 National Arts and Humanities Youth Programs award.