Spring Fever, Pen Pals & Art For Life

Hopefully this week we will finally be rid of winter. I think the fact that my first plant order arrived yesterday is a good sign. Of course, my much anticipated purchase of the Over-the-Top Dahlia Extravaganza Collection, was left on the doorstep for, who knows how long, in below freezing temperatures. The thought of these 8″ plus blooms has me dreaming of summer so I hope they weren’t damaged!

I mention the flowers since I know everyone is thinking about warming trends and spring fever is making everyone feel a little happier. I see and feel peoples’ spirits lifting and I’m confident that there is definitely a connection with the changing season.

Spring means the school year will soon come to an end. Yesterday I stopped by the Heritage Centre, our Art For Life partner site, to see over 40 Roosevelt School 4th graders visit their pen pals. The youngsters have been writing to their “pals” since the 3rd grade. As the end of the school year approaches they wanted to do something special for their adopted grandparents. They sang three songs and played their recorders for a fourth song. The gathering’s energy was infectious and happiness was abundant. The singing was terrific and it was clear that the students prepared long and hard for the performance.

Roosevelt 4th Graders perform for their Heritage Center Pen Pals.

The Pen Pal program has been emensly successful and far exceeded its goal to get kids writing and provide creative engagement for care center residents. Funded by the North Dakota Council on the Arts, the Art For Life programs, here in Jamestown and in 10 other state communities, brings artists and art to eldercare centers to help alleviate the loneliness, boredom and helplessness.

The Culture Builds Community blog is submitted (almost) weekly by The Arts Center Gallery Manager Sally Jeppson. She would love to hear your comments here or email sjeppson@jamestownarts.com.