MISSION AND HISTORY
The dream for an Arts After School program began in 2015 after a community leader luncheon indicated a need for additional extracurricular activities for Middle Schoolers. High risk behaviors often begin between the ages of 11 and 14, and after school is when students have unsupervised free time. We wondered how we could help close this gap in the community.
After collaborative conversation with several youth and arts organizations it gained support, but needed a host site, leadership and funding. Jim Ostlund, campus pastor of Journey@McPherson determined it was a perfect way for the church to support the youth of our community and create a safe haven for students who might not be connecting with existing after school opportunities (i.e. school sports, clubs, and the YMCA).
Journey@McPherson became the primary host, and with grant funding through the McPherson County Community Foundation (MCCF) the program began in 2017. In the first year we served 32 students with our first two tracks (music & visual art). Since then the support and impact has paved the way for additional funding, new tracks, and the capacity to include more students. The future is bright, and to insure the sustainability of Arts After School we are preparing to launch the IMAGINE Initiative to create an endowment with the help of the MCCF.
Visual Art Director
OTHER STAFF & VOLUNTEERS
Zach Batson, Dawn Ivers, Alan Barker, Emily Epp
Jd Bowman, Jerilyn Johnston, Aden Lindholm, Jim Ostlund & Ami Schrader