As a friend pointed out, it was a rare experience of being surrounded by handmade creations: sashes, costumes, buttons, signs.

— Sarah Larson, The New Yorker, Jan 22, 2017 (link)

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In September, the FSU Art Education department began hosting a free, monthly art making session at the Plant, a community space located off campus. This initiative began when a PhD student in the program, Jennifer Hamrock, and I began volunteering at the Plant last year in an effort to find a community outlet for art education.

The monthly art events, called Kid Empowerment Day, have been focused on different themes or activities. They are sustained by a host of volunteers from the FSU Art Education program, including pre-service students and doctoral candidates.

Last week we designed the event in response to the Women’s March on Tallahassee, which took place on the same day: Saturday, January 21st.

The event became a family friendly starting point for the march. Families came and helped their children make signs and safety pins. It was our most successful day yet, with 30 kids (plus family members, volunteers, and “big kids” interested in making signs) passing through!

Reflecting on the turnout, we are reminded of the importance of linking art to social justice. Kids had strong opinions about the new administration and eagerly made their own signs. We hope to build on the momentum created last week and continue to build Kid Empowerment Day around important current events that matter to the youth in our community. Stay tuned!

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