Artsbridge Fund Drive kicking off on Saturday

PARKERSBURG — The annual Artsbridge Fund Drive kicks off Saturday.

The Artsbridge mission statement says “Igniting the Arts within the Mid-Ohio Valley.” All funding received stays here in the community, Artsbridge said in a press release.

The newest and fastest growing program is called ArtCart. Kate Esbenshade Hushion, an art teacher at Parkersburg High School, developed this program.

ArtCart is an in-school, weekly art instruction time for fourth-graders. Of the 19 elementary schools in Wood County, only one of them has an art teacher. The program was started with one school three years ago and has been expanded into nine elementary schools.

Artsbridge offers a variety of Arts Education programs: Arts Tours and Catalog Artists for the elementary students, Arts Encounter for middle school students, Art shows and openings for students and adults in its lobby space, and Very Spectacular Arts Festival for hundreds of special needs students.

Artsbridge also provides community events such as free summer music concerts at City Park and Southwood Park in Parkersburg and the Market Street Merchants & Artists Walks.

Artsbridge has been in existence since 1986 and has been able to fund programs through the support of local individuals and businesses.

Artsbridge’s new Executive Director Amanda Stevens said she is excited to see what new projects and programs can be added in the future. She is following Jane Irvine, who is retiring. Artsbridge’s programs coordinator is Kathy Reeder.

Artsbridge maintains a website with a calendar of arts events. Updates also on the Artsbridge Facebook page.

A gift of any amount can be mailed to P.O. Box 1706, Parkersburg, WV 26102, or donate on the Facebook page or website, artsbridgeonline.org.

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