Provincetown Students Showcase Art, Creative Writing and Partnership with Fine Arts Work Center Fellows Made Possible by Federal Grant

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Community celebration followed a spring collaboration between the Fine Arts Work Center and the Provincetown IB School which integrated art, poetry, and creative writing into students’ learning experience 

FAWC visual arts fellow Agnes Walden shows Provincetown Schools third-grade students her printmaking process. Next to her is Julian Lima. In back are students Victor DePoalo, Trent Burritt, and Kaela Carter; Nate Goodman of Provincetown Community Television; students Lyla Keyes and Bea Ferreira; Nancy Flasher, who handles field studies at the schools; and FAWC Program Director David Simpson.

Provincetown, MA (April 16, 2024) – Provincetown IB School students showcased their original poetry and artwork at the Fine Arts Work Center during an event last week celebrating the culmination of a series of spring residencies partnering them with world-renowned artists – made possible by a $100,000 commitment in federal funding for the Work Center’s broader year-round educational programming approved by Congress. 

The Fine Arts Work Center funding was part of a $400,000 federal grant for Outer Cape Cod arts organizations, including the Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM), Twenty Summers, and Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill. Secured through the efforts of U.S. Representative Bill Keating, Provincetown’s congressman, the funding allowed the groups to offer arts education programs for local K-12 students, including in-school arts and writing classes, after-school community arts projects, weekend courses, group exhibitions and readings, teacher training and professional development. The coalition’s collective programming reached a minimum of 400 students, along with their teachers and families.  

The funding will continue through next year with the help of a $750,000 grant recently announced by U.S. Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren. 

Current Fine Arts Work Center Fellows leading the residencies included Poetry Fellows Tyler Raso and David Hutcheson and Visual Arts Fellows Rehab El Sadek, as well as local Cape Cod artist and past Fellow Vicky Tomayko. This partnership builds on the longstanding collaboration between the Provincetown IB School and the Fine Arts Work Center, a partnership that has been in place for more than a decade.

Fine Arts Work Center Executive Director Sharon Polli believes that the coalition’s programs serve as a first point of contact for some local families and students to engage with the artistic community of Outer Cape Cod, which has long played an important role in shaping the region’s culture and economy. 

“Seeing the impact this partnership had on the students and the Fine Arts Work Center fellows has allowed us to form stronger connections between Cape Cod families and the area’s artistic community and history,” Polli said. “The residencies and the celebration not only provide students and their families with moments of pride and accomplishment; they offer a unique moment to connect and spend time with teachers, other families, the broader community, and the artists who help make Provincetown so special. We’ve found these types of programs can be the foundation for building community in very powerful ways, and we’re thrilled future funding will allow us to continue and expand these programs.” 

“This longtime partnership has been a gift to all involved. Sharing our work with a public audience is often a HUGE step for students with varying degrees of experience in doing so,” said Nancy Flasher, Field Studies & Community Connections Coordinator. “As part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) network of schools, just this year we are celebrating our 10th Year Anniversary as Provincetown IB Schools. We applaud our students and teachers for being IB Risk-Takers who learn to be Caring Communicators through their words and actions. March is our month of immersion in projects done in partnership with artists and writers from the Fine Arts Work Center. We are thankful for the vision of FAWC’s Executive Director, Sharon Polli who, along with a terrific team, makes these projects possible for our learning community.”

The Fine Arts Work Center has a history of investing in arts education programs, and last summer offered professional development workshops in creative writing and visual arts for K-8 teachers and four online week-long writing workshops for regional high school students.

About The Fine Arts Work Center

The Fine Arts Work Center is an international home for artists and writers in Provincetown, Massachusetts —  the country’s most enduring artists’ community. Founded in 1968 by a group of luminary creators including Stanley Kunitz, Robert Motherwell, Josephine and Salvatore Del Deo, and Hudson and Ione Walker, the Work Center has given artists and writers the space and time to pursue their work within a community of peers for more than half a century. The artist-led Work Center supports emerging artists and writers through its world-renowned Fellowship program, and also offers summer workshops and year-round virtual learning opportunities to advance creative practice. Fine Arts Work Center Fellows who have arrived in Provincetown as emerging writers have gone on to win Pulitzer Prizes, National Book Awards, MacArthur Fellowships, and the Nobel Prize in Literature. Visual Arts Fellows have presented their work at the Venice Biennale, The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, and at other venues around the globe. The Fine Arts Work Center supports artistic freedom, nurtures creative connections, and makes possible artistic achievements important to the larger culture.

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