The Arts

Linking Art Through Transformative Programming

The Links support of the arts can be traced to our cultured co-founder Margaret Roselle Hawkins. Her innate artistic talent, discovered at a young age, earned her a four-year scholarship to the Women’s School of Design, later known as the Moore Institute of Art. Her passion for creative expression later led to her appointment as an art teacher, and helped give root to the establishment of The Arts facet in 1964 at the 14th National Assembly.

Throughout the nation today, Links chapters partner with museums, symphonies, arts councils, educational institutes and corporations in order to support art programs, especially where there is a focus on artists of color. Links are creating and supporting opportunities for educating minority youth in the arts and presenting and supporting performances by youth and accomplished professional artists in a diversity of disciplines.

The GOAL of The Arts facet is to increase and expand art activity. We recognize how art is an important foundation to good mental health and can foster healthy connections by Building A Healthy Legacy: Our Prescription for the Future. Our programming includes arts integration within our chapters and partnerships with likeminded organizations, sowing the seed of creativity deeper in our community. The following are the programmatic interests for The Arts.

Signature Arts Program: Classics Through the Ages

Adopted as the signature program of The Arts facet at the 2008 National Assembly, Classics Through the Ages focuses on increasing the interest, knowledge and participation of African-American youth in the classical arts. This exciting initiative seeks to afford exemplary student artists opportunities to hone their talents and skills, and earn recognition and support for their educational and career pursuits.

Classics Through the Ages is an innovative dual mentoring program where chapters, in conjunction with artistic partners, mentor promising student artists, who in turn mentor their peers. A key to program success is the development of artistic and community partnerships, which optimize impact for promising students in a selected arts discipline (e.g., visual arts, performing arts or humanities). Artistic partners provide students with formal training, performance or exhibition opportunities, and an annual master class led by a professional artist in the area of interest. In return the student artists lead interactive learning sessions for selected peers less familiar with the chosen arts discipline. Community youth see the passion student artists have, sparking the potential of art in their lives.
Chapters provide further support by funding advanced training classes and workshops, donating supplies, updating equipment, and more. Internships or scholarships can be awarded to expand the student artists’ learning experiences. Chapter sponsorship of student artists carries over from year to year until they graduate from high school.

National Poster Art Competition: Healthy, Energetic, Active Lifestyles Matter-Make Health a Habit!

The first National Poster Art Competition was created in 1995 in conjunction with The Links, Incorporated’s National Walk-a-Thon. The competition was an artistic exercise focused around a theme promoting good health – Project Walking Fete: Make Health a Habit. Over the years students have produced posters depicting themes centered on healthy lifestyle choices, the benefits of walking, and making healthy choices. The 2015-2016 theme, Healthy, Energetic, Active Lifestyles Matter-Make Health a Habit!, stresses building a holistic approach toward healthy lifestyles, and making sure our youth realize that a whole person’s life matters and is affected through the choices they make.

The contest is divided into four grade categories:

Category I: Grades 1-3
Category II: Grades 4-6
Category III: Grades 7-9
Category IV: Grades 10-12

The National Poster Art Competition runs biennially from October through June, commencing in uneven years. Chapters conduct local competitions between October and March. In April and May, chapters submit their first place winners from each grade category for the selection of area winners. The National Poster Art Competition judging event takes place in May or June and national winners are selected from the winning area entries. All area entries become part of the National Poster Art Exhibition at the National Assembly.

Taking STEM into STEAM

Chapters of The Links, Incorporated are integrating art into their STEM programming, taking STEM into STEAM. By bringing art into the educational mix, students are learning to think beyond the borders of STEM and expand their scholastic experience. The Links believes that spending time creating is equally as important to spending time measuring. Dedicating time for art in school, be it performance, visual or written, gives students a chance to express their creativity and encourages the development of their talents. Through art The Links are helping students learn that there are multiple ways to come to a conclusion, garner greater flexibility in the way they learn, and gain deeper understanding for problem solving.

For more information about The Arts facet, please contact arts@linksinc.org