Community Creative Center Executive Director Barb Putman says the organization had a few different reasons for developing its new “Take n’ Make” kits — art boxes packed full of all of the materials you need to complete a project at home.
“When we had to close down our programming, we wanted to be able to make the arts available to people, especially kids and parents in the house looking to do something besides sheltering in place,” says Putman. “We also needed to find a way to keep teaching artists employed — they’re contract workers, and when we canceled all of our classes, they basically lost their jobs. … I had a teaching artist come in at the beginning of March who said, ‘Yesterday, I had five jobs, and today, I have none.’ The whole gig economy has been decimated.”
Barb Putman, executive director at the Community Creative Center, estimates that creating and distributing the Take n’ Make Kits employs up to six teaching artists. The center is also lending out its pottery wheels so that members of the organization can practice their pottery skills at home during the covid-19 quarantine.
The answer was Take n’ Make Kits. Available for embroidery, loom weaving and pottery crafts, the kits are priced at an affordable $15, thanks to help from a grant from the Windgate Foundation. Teaching artists help assemble the kits and create the items in the pottery kits, which can be picked up curbside — a no-contact transaction.
“For the pottery kits, you spend some time designing them — we have a video you can watch to see how it’s done, and it also gives you a little confidence to say, ‘Oh, I can do that!’ Then you bring it back and [teaching artists] fire it, and it’s shiny and pretty and has a design on it.”
To make it easier for all parts of Northwest Arkansas to access the kits, Putman says the CCC is sending its mobile arts center to Arts Center of the Ozarks in Springdale and Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville to distribute them; they’re also creating smaller arts kits to be used in conjunction with Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and Fayetteville Public Schools’ food distribution efforts.
“This is how we can find some stress relief, and also stretch creative muscles, while sheltering at home,” says Putman. “It’s been a wonderful community effort during such a strange time, and we’re happy we can be a part of it.”
Story by: Lara Jo Hightower
NWAOnline What’s Up on 05/22/2020
Community Creative Center
505 W. Spring St., Fayetteville
Order “Take n’ Make” Kits Online and pick them up at the CCC or at one of the its mobile locations.