Friday, February 27, 2009

Cook Library Center Recipient of WYCE's Hat Trick Series Fundraiser!

On Monday March 9th at One Trick Pony Grill & Taproom in downtown Grand Rapids, the
Cook Library Center will be the beneficiary of a concert-fundraiser hosted by 88.1 FM WYCE.

The concert, which begins at 7:30pm, features Irish band BEOGA.

Beoga (Irish word for ‘lively’) are a five-piece traditional band based in County Antrim, Ireland. The band was drawn together after ‘jamming’ in a ferocious music session at the All-Ireland Fleadh in August 2002. Their unique sound features the twin duelling accordians of Seán Óg Graham and Damian McKee, along with four times All-Ireland bodhrán champion Eamon Murray and pianist Liam Bradley. In 2005, Beoga were nominated by Irish Music Magazine for the best traditional newcomer’s award. With the addition of one of Ireland’s premier young singers, Niamh Dunne, Beoga are confirming their reputation as one of the most exciting acts to emerge from Ireland in recent years.

During the concert, a hat will be passed to collect donations from the audience for the Cook Library Center - GAAH will receive a check for the total amount raised that night.

This event will be more successful the more people we can get to attend. It is a great opportunity to go out for an evening with family and friends, enjoy live music and a great meal, and support the Cook Library Center. Please join us!

To find out more about One Trick Pony - please click HERE

To visit Beoga's website - please click HERE

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

LOOP Intersession at Campus Elementary

Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities is partnering with the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids / Grand Rapids Public Schools to provide arts programming during the alternative calendar schools' Intersession (February 23-27, 2009.)

Several contract artists from the Cook Arts Center are working with the LOOP students at Campus Elementary and Grand Rapids Montessori to celebrate Black History Month through activities in art, dance and music.

Here are some snapshots from an art class taught by Cook Arts Center contract artist Kim Vandenberg this morning. Students created wall-hangings influenced by hide-paintings and beadwork of the Zulu tribes.

GAAH serves hundreds of children each year through our off-site programs, and we are proud of our community partnerships.

Miss. Kim talks to the class about their project, and shows examples...

Students get to work with the assistance of Miss. Kim, and her "helpers" (LOOP staff and volunteers)

Completed wall hangings! Everyone did such a nice job!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Disney On Ice!

Disney on Ice is in town this weekend, and Community Pass tickets are just $10! Just print this coupon and use it to purchase your tickets at the Van Andel Arena, and GAAH will receive 50 cents per ticket purchased!

Go see a great show, and raise money for GAAH at the same time!

Disney Coupon

Monday, February 23, 2009

Notes from the Intern

The Cook Arts Center offers a Drop In Art class on Monday-Thursday afternoons for any child that isn’t already signed up for an after school class. Children who drop in to the Arts Center are greeted with a fun activity and some TLC. I may be a little biased, since I teach the class twice a week, but we always have at least a few laughs. Plus, the kids always leave with a project in hand.

This week at the Drop In Art class, we did a variety of activities that included cooking, making bees, and painting. Mariella, a four year old who participates in the drop in class several times a week eagerly agreed to help me give a step-by-step tutorial for a fun and easy project that she and I did this past week.

Plain Paper
Eager Participant

Step One:
With the paints all ready for use, fold the piece of paper in half. Make sure that there is enough water in each paint color. Here Mariella demonstrates:

Step Two:
Hold paintbrush in hand, and apply color to one half of the page. This works best when there is enough liquid to spread the color throughout the page. The paint cannot be dry.

Step Three:
Once a side is covered in paint, fold the other half over onto the paint. Press down firmly. Peel back to see the other half of the page now filled. Here is Mariella’s :

Draw with crayon the body of a butterfly in between the two sides. This creates a butterfly. This creates a great opportunity to talk to a child about butterflies and how they are made. Here is Mariella and her final project.

Hope you enjoyed last week’s project, there's always something fun and creative going on in the Cook Arts Center lobby after school!

** Shelly is a senior at Calvin College majoring in English and Studio Art. She shares her experiences interning at the Cook Arts Center on this blog once a week. **

Friday, February 20, 2009

Tolly Time with Fifth Third Bank

Michele and Jessica from Fifth Third Bank were guests at the Cook Library Center for this month's Tolly Time program. Michele and Jessica talked to the students about spending and saving money, and how to identify your money "wants" vs. your money "needs." Our students were great listeners! Together they completed worksheets, and received a snack and free book. Thanks for visiting, Michele and Jessica!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bright Beginnings Playgroup & Storytime

The Cook Library Center is thrilled to be hosting a Bright Beginnings Parents as Teachers Playgroup and Storytime each Wednesday from 1-2pm.

The Kent ISD Bright Beginnings Program is a partnership between Kent ISD and its constituent districts. The program provides services to families with children birth to kindergarten entry throughout Kent County.

Bright Beginnings Parent Educators deliver services to families in Kent County through the Parents as Teachers program.

Parents as Teachers is a parent education and family support program that begins prenatally and extends through age five. Parents as Teachers believes that all parents will be their children's best first teachers.Parents meet to enhance their parenting knowledge, gain new insights and share their experiences, common concerns and successes. Group meetings also provide families the opportunity to participate in parent-child activities.

The Cook Library Center is providing a free book for each parent-child that attends the program each week.

Here are some photos from this weeks group meeting!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tiny Tots Clay

GAAH's Pottery Studio Manager, Madeline Kaczmarczyk, teaches "Tiny Tots Clay" on Wednesday's from 11:00-11:30am in the Wege Pottery Studio at the Cook Arts Center. Check out these wonderful photos from her class:

Monday, February 16, 2009

Notes from the Intern

Hello everyone! I’m Shelly, the new intern at the Cook Arts Center. I’m a senior at Calvin College and will be graduating this May with a double major in English and Studio Art. I’ve been interning here since the beginning of January, where I have been teaching the Drop-In-Art after school program. I’ll be continuing to do that until May, and I’m also going to be blogging once a week to tell you about my experiences here.

I really had no idea what to expect on my first day at the Arts Center. As I stood among the swarm of kids, it suddenly felt like it had been a really long time since I had worked with children. Questions like “What do you even say to someone less than half my age…?” flooded my mind. But, as the group of kids settled around with their paintbrushes poised for action, I realized it doesn’t matter what you say to a kid. What matters is that you want to be there - want to get to know them, want to spend time with them, want to teach them.

The more time I spend at the Cook Arts Center, the more I enjoy it. This past Wednesday, I had the opportunity to walk around and see the different classes that are available. I couldn’t help but wonder what class I would have chosen to attend when I was a little kid. Lucky for these children, they get the opportunity to try as many art classes as they want.

I’ll leave you with a few pictures from last week’s activities. Whether it’s the new style of holding a guitar, the group of boys enjoying the cartooning class, or Erika busy working on her pottery, I can’t help but smile.

Friday, February 13, 2009

An Easy Way to Help GAAH!

For those of you that shop at D&W, here's an easy way for you to help out GAAH in the coming week.

The D&W Fresh Market Steps Up In Your Neighborhood program is designed specifically for the support of
schools and non-profit groups. D&W
designates specific weeks scheduled throughout the school year
where GAAH
supporters can shop, give our group code, and receive 2.5% back on their total purchase.

Simply shop at D&W starting THIS SUNDAY: FEBRUARY 15 through 21, 2009

Give the D&W cashier GAAH's code: 95760 and the 2.5% of purchase donation will automatically be
credited to GAAH's account. It's just that easy!

GAAH will receive a check from D&W in May 2009 and funds will be used to support our facilities and

Mark your calendars, write down our group code, and shop D&W this week to support GAAH!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cookies at the Cook Library Center!

A group of Aquinas College students have been volunteering at the Cook Library Center on Wednesday afternoons. Each Wednesday they facilitate an art project or another fun activity for the children. This week, they frosted Valentines cookies! We really appreciate these students coming to work with the children at the Cook Library Center each week. Thank You!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

SWCC Student Performance & Exhibit - Monday & Tuesday Classes

Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities (GAAH) and Southwest Community Campus (SWCC) collaborate annually to provide a visual and performing arts learning experience for 5th,and 6th grade students at SWCC. The classes take place at the Cook Arts Center which is less than a quarter of a mile away from SWCC. This year, Laura Armenta (dance) and Kim VandenBerg (art) have provided art and dance classes to the students which are built upon content standards in the student’s core curriculum and relate to community, so that the SWCC teachers may extend the experience back into the classroom.

Students walk from SWCC to the Cook Arts Center to attend the classes for a period of 16 weeks. Throughout this multi-week session the students are exposed to various types of art, their understanding of the arts will improve, and they are be encouraged to creatively express themselves. Each grade level’s 16-week session culminates in an art exhibit and celebration that takes place at the Cook Arts Center. Students display their artwork with an artist statement and biography, and perform dance pieces they have learned.

On Monday February 9, 2009 - one of the 5th grade classes had their exhibit and performance. Here are some photos and video from their celebration!

On Tuesday February 10, 2009 - the second 5th grade class had their exhibit and performance. Here are some photos and video from their celebration!

Pictures and video from Thursday's 5th grade class performance coming later in the week!

Cook Arts Center Girls Group

The Cook Arts Center is home to a newly founded girls group for girls in grades 8-12.

"Teen Talk" (the working name of the group until the girls choose a name that they like!) meets on Monday afternoons at the Cook Arts Center and is facilitated by Arts Center Director Amy Brower.

The girls participate in icebreakers and activities, work on art and craft projects, and address real-world topics like higher education, job-seeking, and more.

"Teen Talk" is an opportunity for young girls to meet new friends, and develop communication skills and trust with their peers. It is a support system to whom they can share their ups and downs.

At this weeks meeting, the girls worked with clay to create pieces that expressed themselves.

They created a group piece, a tray, which they hope to auction off at GAAH's Dia Del Sol fundraiser in June.

Once the pieces have been fired in the kiln, they will glaze and paint them.

If you are interested in volunteering with the girls group, or know a student who may be interested in joining, please contact Amy Brower at

Monday, February 9, 2009

Saturday Art Activities At The Cook Arts Center

On the first Saturday of the month the Cook Arts Center offers free art and clay activities for children and families. This past Saturday, nine kids and three adults joined us at the facility. Facilitated by Calvin College volunteers and Cook Arts Center Director Amy Brower, participants made clay pinch pots in the pottery class and these "I Pod" candy projects (below) in the art class:

For the project how to, visit the Family Fun website by clicking here.

Stop by the Cook Arts Center on Saturday March 7 from 1-3pm for more free art and clay activities!