This is a group that I have devoted tons of energy and time to over the last 10 years. Their mission statement sums it all up:
“Enhance the lives of those within our community through interaction with the arts. Increase the opportunities of our children through art education.”
Its something I completely believe in, live and breath it. I got involved 10 years ago as a way to help promote my art, but after a few meetings I found its something that benefits the entire community in ways I never knew.
My kids were in the MUSD system and I was disappointed to learn that Art Education wasn’t part of the curriculum as a separate class at the elementary level. Monrovia Association of Fine Arts, MAFA for short, was just getting ready to make its first donation to the schools the year I joined to help fund art educatoin at the elementary level. Over the course of the next few years our cash donations totalled over $75.000. But it didn’t stop there.
Over the next several years we developed a curriculum for the MUSD Village After School Program. Spearheaded by Rouzanna Berberian MAFA brought art education to the MUSD Elementary Schools with weekly visits to the 5 campuses where they learned the basiscs of drawing and painting.
Two years ago MAFA partnered with Santa YMCA in a pilot program to help the disenfranchised kids that hung out Friday night in Library Park. This Friday program MAFA provided art materials and Rouzanna provided the talent to help these kids learn and produce art. This art is how many of them found a voice and became regular members at the Friday Happening.
Annually we hold our Celebrate the Arts event in Library Park. Its a fun 2 day event in the fall that attracts visitors and artists from all around the Los Angeles area. Its a fun even that the proceeds help fund our various activities in and around the schools and community.
Twice a year we partner with the Foothill Unity Center with their programs for families. In August its the back to school event where under privileged kids get shoes, clothes and school supplies. While there we provied these kids, easily over 1,000 with the chance to do a ceramics project with the help of Paint n Play 2 Art Studio and Gallery. On December 22 it is the Foothill Unity Holiday Distribution and we expect to help over 1,600 kids craft ornaments at the event. Want to help with that? If so contact me and I’ll get you the information needed to make it happen.
As you might guess all of these events cost us money. Add in the scholarships we give to graduating seniors persuing a career in Art and we’ve got a big budget and often wonder how we will fund it all. If you have spare change and care to donate please write us a check. If you work for a company looking to sponsor art events, hit me up we’d love someone to underwrite one or two of our events so we could divert more money back to the community.
And if you haven’t figured out why I use “we”, its because I’m still an active member of the group helping to further our mission statement. I’ve served as a member at large, President, Vice-President and now as the Jury Committee head on the Board of Directors.
Any help you can give us in the form of volunteer hours or donations would be greatly appreciated.
Monrovia Association of Fine Arts, 418 S Myrtle Avenu, Monrovia CA 91016