Despite the suspension of children’s camps during the pandemic, the Ah Haa School of the Arts continued to “discover, nurture and celebrate creativity” through its Ah Haa To Go art kits.
Launched in July 2020 in response to the COVID-19 induced closure of the community art school, the Ah Haa To Go program has sold more than 100 art kits. The program halted sales in the spring, but has just “relaunched with additional kits,” according to a recent press release.
“Children take advantage of opportunities to explore their own creativity and the transformational experience it brings about,” said Deputy Director Jess Newens. “At a time when Ah Haa is unable to deliver in-person programming, Ah Haa To Go allows children (and adults) to engage and be inspired by themselves or with another person using material that might not otherwise be available to them. “
There are eight Ah Haa To Go –– Pop Art kits to choose from: acrylic painting, exploration of embroidery, rope spool basketwork, ukulele building, basic hardcover book, zoo sculpture, secret succulent planters and art for the little ones. The kits are intended for people of all ages and can be found on Ah Haa’s website, ahhaa.org.
Ah Haa recently added the “Art For Littles” kit, for ages 4 to 8, which contains materials for creating bubble wands, stamps, sculptures and paintings. This kit is designed for “parents and babysitters looking to interest and occupy young children,” Newens said in the press release. “Each kit contains supplies and step-by-step instructions for completing specific projects; some even include links to instructional videos. Choose from a number of age-appropriate kits, from painting and book making to embroidery.
Ah Haa To Go art kits range from $ 10 to $ 25, with the exception of the $ 100 ukulele kit. The ukulele kit includes a video tutorial, a ukulele kit, three colors of acrylic paint that the artist chooses when purchasing, brushes, popsicle sticks, wood glue and rubber bands, according to the website.
All art kits can be ordered online and mailed or picked up in person from the school’s American Academy of Bookbinding building on North Willow Street.
“The goal of Ah Haa To Go is to engage low-cost people with self-guided projects,” Newens said.
Throughout the pandemic, Ah Haa has also provided online cooking classes run by local chef Bud Thomas; writing classes led by local authors Craig Childs, Amy Irvine and Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer; and art classes.
After more than two years of construction and temporary accommodation in the Bookbinding Academy building, the staff of the Ah Haa School of the Arts are finally able to move into their new facilities in the Silver Jack building on Pacific Avenue at the end of July. Ah Haa staff will take a few weeks to set up their new studios and classrooms and prepare for the opening to the public, which is yet to be determined.
The additional area will allow existing and expanded programming. The new space includes an educational kitchen, which allows the school to design a new culinary arts program, and a gallery space, allowing “generative programming” associated with the featured artist.
Ah Haa is launching its 29th annual art auction on July 16, which will run online through August 7, with the goal of raising $ 200.00. The money raised will directly allow Ah Haa to take over “(nurture) the creative spirit through classes, workshops, programs and events for people of all ages in our community,” according to the website.
The school is also recruiting, as a call for applications was recently published on social networks. “Interested in teaching art to young people? Ah Haa School for the Arts is looking for qualified and experienced instructors who can teach a variety of artistic media, such as painting, mixed media, ceramics, digital photography, and the culinary arts. It is an employment contract; after-school class instructors are especially needed. Prior art education is a must. Accommodation is not provided, sorry. Please send your resume to [email protected] No phone calls, please, ”reads on Facebook.
For more information, visit ahhaa.org.