A group of artists and youth advocates are working with First Presbyterian Church to pilot a Saturday morning program called “Exploring the Arts” to take place this winter and spring beginning Jan. 22 and continuing through mid-May.

The theme is “Art for the Future.” The program will offer programming for two age groups: third- through fifth-graders, and middle schoolers. Students will meet primarily at First Presbyterian Church, as well as at other locations as opportunities present themselves, according to a news release.

For the first four weeks, middle schoolers will focus on mask making and discuss the literal and figurative masks we wear, organizers said. Participants should plan to get creative and messy. The session will be led by local artist Magdalen Zinky, a multi-disciplinary experimental theater artist and writer based in Greeneville.

Younger participants will dive into basic color theory, paint mixing and brushwork techniques. They will be invited to test what they learn in projects such as 2071 T-shirt painting, futuristic self-portrait canvases, spin art and more, with artist and musician Miriam Stoner.

In the second four-week session, students will explore instrument making, drumming and more. Topics for the third four-week session are yet to be determined, and will be planned based on the interests and input of the participants, according to the news release.

Groups will be limited to 15 students each. Students who qualify for free and reduced lunch, as well as students of color, are strongly encouraged to apply. All activities are free and transportation will be provided for any student who needs it, organizers said in the news release.

This opportunity is funded by the Tennessee Arts Commission. To apply, visit https://www.firstpresgreeneville.org/exploring-the-arts. More information can be found on the Exploring the Arts TN facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Exploring-the-Arts-TN-111403441394401 and by calling or texting 423-525-9951.

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