, Newburyport, MA

November 2, 2012

Port's art association is a 'unique gem'

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

I attended Newburyport Art Association’s breakfast event, the Art of Giving, to learn about the broad range of support NAA provides not only to its members but also the greater Newburyport region. I have been an artist member and supporter of NAA for many years in my capacity as an artist and because I believe that art is an essential element in the development of our creative potential: for artists, as well as for doctors, engineers, businesspeople, and everyone. After all, our forebears created art in their cave dwellings.

The meeting was conducted by those educators and artists who participate in and use NAA’s programs in the local schools and community-outreach centers. These programs include the promotion of the arts in the greater regional communities, with more than 600 artist members from all over northeastern Massachusetts, as well as New Hampshire and Maine. NAA is a unique gem in this region.

Art education, one of the core missions of NAA, complements art teaching in the local schools and provides studio classes and workshops year-round for NAA members, local children, teens, and adults. These classes and workshops are often filled up soon after the enrollment is opened. This is testament to the quality of the teachers of these courses.

One of the most unique programs NAA has developed is Artlink, a youth art education program designed to link the resources of NAA and area schools in order to provide access to visual-arts education for local students. This program is especially important because of the reduction in funding that schools have been forced to live with and will be even more important in the future for our continued need for education in the arts.

Another unique program is OpArt, which works in conjunction with Opportunity Works, Inc., in Newburyport to provide art-education outreach programs to adults with special needs. It is inspiring to view the works of those in this program, to interact and learn from with the creators of these works.

Newburyport Art Association is more than a local members’ art organization. Its numerous programs and outreach into the greater region are something we can all be proud of, but these programs do come at a cost. NAA does a marvelous job of doing a lot with very limited resources, but could do more if the funds were available. I encourage readers to consider supporting NAA and its education and community outreach programs by helping with funding in the spirit of the Art of Giving. I know the NAA Board of Directors and staff are enormously grateful for the support they have received to date from community members and institutions – I hope you will join them in this noble cause. Please contact NAA Executive Director Elena Bachrach by phone, 978-465-8769, or email for more information.

Robert Pyle