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Arts grant supports educational outreach through college gallery


Pennsylvania College of Technology has received a $1,587 grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. The funds are supporting programming and educational outreach efforts in conjunction with the exhibit “The Hundred Dresses Project: We Are All in This Together,” slated for this summer at The Gallery at Penn College.

The gallery invited third, fourth and fifth grade students from Lycoming County’s eight school districts to create works of art to add to the exhibit, scheduled for June 4 through July 23. Art educators from six of the school districts accepted the invitation to participate and received a copy of the book, markers and dress prints for each participating student.

Among the more than 1,300 student artworks that will be displayed in The Gallery at Penn College as part of “The Hundred Dresses Project” are these examples from students in Jersey Shore Area School District elementary schools.
Among the more than 1,300 student artworks that will be displayed in The Gallery at Penn College as part of “The Hundred Dresses Project” are these examples from students in Jersey Shore Area School District elementary schools.

The exhibit is based on Eleanor Estes’ classic children’s book, “The Hundred Dresses,” which tells the story of an immigrant school girl who is teased by her classmates for her accent, name, clothes and family’s poverty. The book was first published in 1944 and explores themes of acceptance, inclusion, art, empathy and courage. Inspired by Estes’ book, exhibit creator and artist Crystal Cawley invited artists to read the book and create dress prints on paper. Cawley has continued the evolution of the exhibit by opening the project to community members where the exhibit is shown.

“I’m pleased the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts awarded a grant so we could extend the reach of this important exhibit to young people in our area,” said Penny Griffin Lutz, director of The Gallery at Penn College. “The book was notable in the time it was written and continues to have an impact today. The art educators who have agreed to participate are enthusiastic about the book, the project and having their students take part. In fact, there will be over 1,300 student pieces on display in the gallery.”

The participating students are also invited to attend the exhibit’s opening reception and listen to Cawley’s gallery talk as she describes her work and the idea behind the exhibition.

Pennsylvania Council on the ArtsThe mission of the PCA is to foster the excellence, diversity and vitality of the arts in Pennsylvania and to broaden the availability and appreciation of those arts throughout the state.

The PCA is a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Through its Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts Project Stream, the PCA distributes grants at a local level to eligible organizations or individuals to conduct arts projects and activities that benefit the public.

The grant to support programming for “The Hundred Dresses Project” was administered in partnership with the Bradford County Regional Arts Council, which serves Bradford, Columbia, Lycoming, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga and Wyoming counties.

Dedicated to promoting art appreciation through exhibitions of contemporary art, The Gallery at Penn College serves as an educational resource for students and a cultural asset to the college and community.

For more about grant-funding opportunities, faculty and staff may contact Grants & Sponsored Programs at ext. 7580 or through its Web portal.

For more about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free at 800-367-9222.

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