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Monday, May 2, 2016

Getting into art focus of Museum program

Friday, July 7, 2006

One Indiana resident believes art can be incorporated into any person's life in many different ways, and in Putnam County, one program is focusing on children and transportation.

Kayla Lanham, Bloomington, grew up in nearby Carp. She attended Owen Valley High School, then found herself in college at DePauw University where she double majored in art history and English writing. Upon graduation in 2005, Lanham took an interim position at DePauw in the Department of Campus Life. It was during this time that she began an internship at the Putnam County Museum with its art gallery.

Lanham was put in charge of two projects. She helped put together the art walk that is currently on display at the museum for her first project.

Her other project was the museum's summer program, Art on the Move.

"The big thing I had to do was work on the grants proposal," Lanham said, which is a difficult task. "Grant writing is not like normal writing."

The intern found herself working on a huge project. Writing the grant proposal first required her to figure out what type of category their project was. She then had to go on to describe the time line of their project and the budget they would need. Plus she had to write a grant narrative that explains what their program wants to do for who and the philosophy behind it. This part of the writing was very important.

"You have to provide that in a convincing manner that proves you know what you are talking about," Lanham said.

The process which she said began around March neared completion a few weeks ago when she found out they received the grant for the full amount requested from Arts Illiana and the National Endowment for the Arts.

But the whole process will not be over until around September, after she has followed up on the completion of their program for the grant committee.

But why work for so many months on such a tedious project that only takes place for such a short time?

Lanham said the summer arts program from the previous summer was a complete success, with 27 children participating in it.

"It was obvious there was a real need and interest in arts programs in Putnam County," Lanham said.

The "Art on the Move" project focuses on younger children as the museum is family friendly and focused, she said.

Yet, she didn't come up with this program on her own. She had the support and help of other people who gave her many ideas.

Lanham said she learned that you have to have children constantly engaged, which is partly how they came to the idea of involving transportation as the theme for this summer project.

"Art has a lot to do with transportation," Lanham said.

She said transportation can literally represent art, such as the car on display in the art walk, or transportation can be expanded on in a metaphorical and philosophical way.

The three-part "Art on the Move" program has already begun with the first session titled, "Building on Putnam County" complete. Yet there are still two more parts.

The second part, "Oh, the places we go" will be taking place this Saturday. In this part of the program, children will be making accordion books that will talk about a vacation they would like to go on and what they would like to do.

The third part titled, "I love a parade" will be taking place on July 22. This section is coordinated with the 4-H parade as the children will learn about parades as a form of transportation.

"There are types of transportation that are not about getting somewhere but how you get there," Lanham said.

With that in mind, the children will design their own costumes for their very own parade.

Lanham, now a graduate student at IU pursuing her master's degree in art administration, said she is very interested in museums and the arts interacting with the community. She believes these places are perceived to have nothing to do with real people and she wants to banish that image.

"I think there is a huge need for arts programs for people of all ages," Lanham said. "It's especially important for young children on a developmental level."

The arts don't always get a lot of funding, which is the reason Lanham worked so hard to acquire the grant for the summer arts program.

Museum director Stacy Klingler said that Lanham has really made this summer program possible.

"We are incredibly fortunate to have had Kayla's contributions over the last several months," Klingler said.

Lanham, who has a graduate assistant ship at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures at IU, said she would just love to see as many kids as possible show up for the program.

"Oh the places we go" will take place on Saturday, July 8 from 10-11 a.m. There is a material fee of $5.

For more information about the "Art on the Move" summer program, call the Putnam County Museum at 653-8419.

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