We are thrilled to have community partners like Savoir Faire! Recently President Pierre-Yann Guidetti donated beautiful Italian Fabriano sketchbooks and Austrian CretaColor pencil sets for 250 young artists in our programs. Fabriano is an old Italian company that changed the world with its invention of modern cotton paper. It once served great artists like Michelangelo and Da Vinci.
This is huge for us, as good sketchbooks are costly. It means we can support our students in developing a regular sketchbook practice. And the less we spend on supplies, the more money we have to fund innovative programs. Our goal is to build creativity, confidence and compassion in all learners of all abilities.
Savoir Faire, which recently merged with MacPherson Art, imports beautiful, high-end art materials from Europe and sells them wholesale.
Pierre also graciously invited our Executive Director Kristen Jacobson to his weekly IG LIVE show earlier this year. Pierre and Kristen had a lively and interesting discussion about the arts, including why it is important to give children the best quality of tools and materials you can afford.
When the pandemic hit, Pierre said he felt an urgency to help and started to look locally.
“Art is good for you and good for the world,” Pierre said. “In a crisis, you have to do something.”
(Last fall, Pierre donated CretaColor pencil sets and beautiful packets of Fabriano colored paper. That gift had a significant impact on our ability to create art kits that could be distributed to students in our visual art programs.)
Kristen talked about studies that show creativity improves student life, from social-emotional learning to behavior and attendance.“Creativity is what is going to get students through the trauma of this pandemic,” she said.
Youth in Arts has developed a new online learning platform, YIArts.COR.com. Since we pivoted to distance learning, we have more than doubled the number of students we reach – teaching more than 4,000 students last fall. Many of those young artists had little or no exposure to the arts before Youth in Arts stepped in.
Pierre’s interview with Kristen ended with a discussion of creativity during the pandemic. They talked about the importance of having an unstructured time to day dream, dance or listen to the birds sing. There is a need for time to be creative without necessarily producing something to sell.
“Creativity is very broad,”Pierre said. “Find your space.”
You can watch Pierre’s lively IG Live show by visiting @ArtSavoirFaire on Instagram on Fridays at 2 p.m. pacific time.