Fundraiser helps bring arts education classes to Youngstown

The SMARTS program brings arts education classes to Youngstown.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The first annual SMARTSfest showcased art, music and dancing in downtown Youngstown on Saturday.

“Where families can come down and see the new SMARTS facility in the Ohio One building and have lots of fun with popcorn, cotton candy and a lot of hands-on activities,” said Becky Keck, a SMARTS representative.

The SMARTS, or Students Motivated by the Arts, program currently serves more than 360 kindergarten through 12th grade students, bringing arts education classes to the Ohio One building on E. Boardman Street in Youngstown.

“We’ll hold classes during school and after school in visual arts, music, dance, theater and creative writing.”

The SMARTS program is expanding this year, and kicked off its fundraising campaign with Saturday’s event.

Some of the activities at SMARTSfest included paper origami, drum circles and crafts. Keck says it’s fun for the kids, and they learn how to work together.

“Children learning through art is critical. Early childhood visual arts learning is critical for early childhood development and many children like to learn through the arts.”

To learn more about the program and how to get your child involved, visit the SMARTS website.

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