I launched a high school NAHS chapter in an effort to provide an extracurricular activity for students who were not otherwise engaged. What I didn't anticipate was the unexpected group of students who converged! Cross-sectional categories of athletes, academics, thespians, musicians, and a few disengaged students came together over the common interest of gaining access to opportunities to travel, learn from visiting artists, experiment with various mediums, and gain leadership skills. Some were simply looking for a place to fit.
Our NAHS chapter fostered the collaboration of learners, families, colleagues, and community members to ensure learner growth and leadership development of students, and it has become a voice of advocacy for visual art opportunities. The interest and support of parents and community members helping to provide access to artistic opportunities has been overwhelming! NAHS recognized and encouraged students to pursue their interests, develop new skills, and gain access to opportunities in the visual arts while striving to aid members in attaining the highest standards in art scholarship, character, and community service.
The NAHS worked to bring art education to the attention of the school and community. NAHS hosted large elementary school art camps, annual sock hop fundraisers, knitting nights, and art workshops for fusing glass and wood burning to name a few. NAHS also brought in visitings artists for art making events. Our NAHS members attended many local art events such as the University of Omaha's Throw-A-Thon, The Joslyn Museum of Art's Draw-A-Thon, and many local gallery exhibition openings. We took multiple art tours to Omaha, Kansas City, Des Moines, and St. Louis annually. Other art tours included Hastings, Chicago, France, and Spain.
Our NAHS had over 70% membership from the high school's student body, was completely self-sustaining financially, and was active in the community. It was exciting to see quantitative and qualitative evidence that the visual arts are a priority in student learning in our community! Visit the 2013-2016 Lincoln Lutheran NAHS Chapter pageHERE to see stories and see pictures!