Earth Arts NW is a K-8 multi-arts education program based in Portland, OR. Since 2003, we’ve integrated learning about Pacific NW eco-systems, history and culture, into outcome-based art activities. Our goal is to support kids in fulfilling their potential as unique, creative individuals and to engage together as Cultural Innovators in imagining a healthy & sustainable 21st century world.
Our Residencies provide children with opportunities for artistic exploration, environmental learning & literacy growth. In 2008 we were invited to join the regional Right Brain Initiative during its inaugural year. Through the initiative we receive cutting-edge training in strategies for integrating art activities into benchmark curriculum, with an emphasis on literacy.
At the heart of our work is Story Making. In many of our residencies, we guide children through the process of creating collaborative stories. Some are humorous – with universal lessons, others are personal stories that explore a character’s unique challenges and gifts. And many of these stories express children’s dreams – great or small – for better lives and a better world.
Through special project grants we’ve been able to bring sustainability mentors to share with students, provide them the opportunity to publish their own Global Warming Graphic Novels, perform historically-themed plays (adapted from student stories) and publish a book entitled “Columbia River Stories,” our contribution to Confluence – a cultural history and environmental project led by Architect Maya Lin – through Confluence in the Schools.
Earth Arts Kids know through experience that unexpected, innovative solutions emerge through collaboration – and – that each one of us can make a meaningful contribution in shaping good ideas and bringing them into form.
Today’s children will become stewards of 21st century Earth, with formidable challenges to tackle. From the restoration of eco-systems to the development of sustainable communities, they will need to imagine and create new pathways to follow into the future. We are committed to nurturing their curiosity and love for the living Earth, their capacity to solve problems through artful, effective change. . . and their kinship with one another.