The Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation

Free Family Art Time

Grant Information
Categories Arts , Community
Location South Texas
Cycle Year 2017
Organization Information
Organization Name (provided by applicant) The Art Center of Corpus Christi
Organization Name (provided by automatic EIN validation)
Contact Information
Contact Name Dianna Bluntzer sherman
Phone 3618846406
Corpus Christi
Additional Information
Used for Funds will used to pay artist instructors and purchase supplies for 100 sessions of Free Family Art Time that serve approximately 10,000 family members. An education coordinator will be paid to design 2 different activities each week appropriate for all ages and abilities.
Benefits Financial challenges limit the types of activities that children are exposed to, identify with, and will consider as an option for the rest of their lives. Additionally, conversations with minority visitors revealed that when they were children they thought “art was for rich white people, not for me”. While school field trips are beneficial, they do not create the sense of belonging that is formed when children attend with their family. Free Family Art Time eliminates both of these barriers by offering a free art activity in a family friendly atmosphere. A survey of attendees’ zip codes revealed that 41% live in an area that has 9 subsidized public housing complexes. This program is reaching those most in need.
Proposal Description Not JUST an Art Program
Family Art Time is a non-competitive, non-judgmental art activity that serves people of all ages and abilities. Supplies are provided and it is a drop-in, “make-and-take” activity that does not require registration.

The atmosphere is designed to encourage cooperation and it promotes familial bonding and strengthens the sense of family unity. After initial instruction, families sit together to plan, decide and create a project together.


The success of the program can be seen in the growing number of participants and the joy they express. However, The Art Center has observed 3 remarkable outcomes.

1. Bridging the generation gap.
It is not uncommon for 3 generations of a family to come together, ready to participate in making a memory together. Family Art Time is also popular with grandparents who can actively participate in the activity. It is a beautiful sight to behold, and shows that art has the power to close generation gaps.

2. Crossing Cultures.
Attendees represent a larger percentage of the minority populations in South Texas including African Americans, Asians, women in headscarf’s, ministers as well as people with disabilities.
We don't totally understand why this is happening but there is definitely an feeling of acceptance that is being transmitted through this program.

3. Unplugged.
Even more impressive is the absence of cell phones in the room – this is not a policy, not even a suggestion – it simply occurs because everyone is completely engaged in the creative process. What a rare sight to see dozens of people of every age in a room where no one is on their cell phone.

The Art Center is the only organization in the region devoted exclusively to nurturing and promoting regional art and artists as a service to our diverse community, Free Family Art Time is the ideal expression of this mission and creates a vibrant intersection of art and community. Family Art Time began in 2011 and has become the most well-attended outreach program offered by The Art Center. Artists are employed to lead the program.

If the full request amount is not possible, please consider another amount. All funding is greatly appreciated.

The Art Center is committed to being good stewards of the Foundations investment in our community through the arts.