Expanding education through art: Nonprofit donates art supplies to area schools
Two years ago Albert Road Art House was started by Danice Grisham, of Graham, to expand education through art by making art accessible to all students. Since its creation, the nonprofit organization has grown from helping students in Graham to helping 10 teachers and over 1,400 students across the communities of Bryson, Jacksboro, Newcastle, Olney, Archer City and Wichita Falls.
The idea for the organization came about when Grisham and her sister-in-law, Beth Shanafelt, had discussions regarding how local schools did not have the materials for art programs. The program later incorporated her daughter, Carson Grisham, who helped create the website for the organization.
“My mom, she was always a big artist. She even has a separate room in our house where she keeps all of her supplies and goes and does art,” Carson Grisham said. “I think she was looking for some way to give back to her community. She had mentioned kind of offhand to me and my dad, you know, ‘What if I just started a little nonprofit, and started to be able to supply these schoolchildren?’ And we thought it was a great idea. I especially thought it was a good idea, and agreed to help start building the website and filling out the forms and all that sort of stuff. So we did that and it just grew from there. She started to realize that there really was even more of a need than just one teacher, there were lots of teachers in the area who wanted to be able to provide for kids in that way, but previously could not or it had to be out of pocket. (...) art supplies are expensive, some more than others.”
Danice Grisham said the organization found many of the art programs in North Central Texas are underfunded. The first teacher they worked with in the program only having funding through two lesson plans. The organization is adding teacher requests each week with no requests having gone unfulfilled. The requests are dispersed on an as-needed basis and there are no limits to the timing of the requests or the amount of the requests.
“We shipped 375 pounds of clay to one teacher. We shipped 180 canvases to another teacher. We’ve shipped brushes, paints, gels (...), papers, cardstocks, watercolors, acrylic paint, pipe cleaners, cotton balls, you name it. You name it, anything that they can come up with. We are happy to fulfill,” Danice Grisham said.
For the rest of the story, see the Dec. 1 edition of The Graham Leader.