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Chasing Down The Muse: Lighting a fire for arts education

September 16, 2010|By Cherril Doty

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. —William Butler Yeats

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Festival season has come to an end once again. Solitary walks along Crystal Cove have been reinstituted. Best of all, now that the long festival days are ended, there is time to spend pondering many things left on back burners throughout the summer.

Having served on the Sawdust Art Festival's ad hoc 2010 Committee for the past year, art education has been in the forefront of my thinking a lot of the time. As I mentioned in a previous column, our committee had worked for a year on a fundraiser to benefit the art education fund at the Sawdust Festival. I am pleased to hereby announce that it was a phenomenal success.

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There were a host of questions and doubts when we began the task last September, not least of which was whether we could raise enough money in a down economy to make the effort worthwhile. The final numbers are in. The auction of Collectors' Panels grossed better than $22,500 to help with the Sawdust Art Festival's mission. (The Sawdust Art Festival is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public and promoting the art created in Laguna Beach.) The effort has been well worthwhile.

Now the question begged to be answered…how were these monies to be spent? What would be the end result of the many long hours of work on this successful fundraiser? So, after a delightfully long walk on the beach, I set out to find the answers to my many questions.

When we had started plans for the fundraiser, the committee had asked the Art Education Committee what would be the top three items on their wish list. The items included improvements to existing facilities for teaching so that they could be put to greater use. It was our hope in the beginning that we could raise enough to at least get started on these projects.

Former board member Jan Sattler and others had dreams of having year-round classes at the Sawdust Festival grounds. Glassblower John Barber and wife Rebecca had started Spring Into Art classes, but more was envisioned. With Jan's encouragement, Autumn Art and January Jewelry classes had been begun.

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