Anyone with kids will tell you that among the first thing cut from a public schools budget is art. I was made painfully aware of it when my oldest started kindergarten. The absence prevents a well rounded education and cuts of a small percentage of kids from their most effective way to communicate.
I got involved with the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts (MAFA) several years ago as I liked their mission statement and felt that I could help make a difference in the community. I don’t know how much of an impact I have had, but I know that the group has made an impact on the community both in the schools and the area at large. The mission statement is quite simple and direct:
“Enhance the lives of those within our community through interaction with the arts. Increase the opportunities of our children through art education”.
For a group of a dozen faithful art lovers we manage to do a lot during the year. We either do it ourselves or work with other non-profits in the area to help bring art to many who would not have had the opportunity if it weren’t for MAFA. Some of our activities:
- Local Galleries including CTGY Credit Union (formerly Focus One), Monrovia City Hall and Community Center
- Donated over $50,000 to MUSD for art education.
- Provided art teachers and funding for Art in the Village After School Program.
- Work with local schools in fund raising to grow their art programs.
- Host the Monrovia Summer Art Walks.
- Host the “Black Tie Event” giving out the “Hearts in the Arts” and “Renaissance” Awards to those in the community working in the arts or helping to bring art to the community.
- Host October “Celebrate the Arts” 2 day art show.
- Work with the Boys and Girls Club of the Foothills with art filled field trips or events.
- Work with Foothill Unity Center’s “Back to School” and “Holiday” events with art supplies, art projects and keepsakes.
- Provide Mini-grants to local schools and non-profits for art education and activities
Our members come from all over the LA area, not just Monrovia. Our members represent a varied media selection ranging from traditional painting to photography to cutting edge digital art. Both artists and art lovers are invited to join and help us meet our goals outlined in the mission statement.
One of the areas we have worked hard at is providing emerging artists and students with venues that are either free or affordable as a way to show case their art. Between the galleries that are fee free, or nominal fees of the Summer Art Walks and Celebrate the Arts we have many options for them to share their work and cultivate followers and collectors. These events and galleries are open to all artists in the LA Area. I am quite proud of our efforts to be inclusive of all media types and giving newer artists an opportunity to grow.
In order for MAFA to grow we need help with fund raising to support all of our projects. We look to a future where we have more of an impact than just the communities in our immediate area, but through out the San Gabriel Valley. If you have an art lover on your list consider one of our artists or make a donation direct to MAFA in their name. If you are an artist or art lover come join us in the fun we have putting together events that bring art to the schools and community.
MAFA meets every 2nd Tuesday at 7PM. Our meeting location is provided by the Paint n Play Art Studio and Gallery located at 418 S Myrtle Avenue, Monrovia CA 91016. This address is also our mailing address. More information about MAFA can be found on the Web Site. If you have any questions you can write me at frank (at)monroviafinearts (dot) org.