Afterschool program donates proceeds to Black Mountain Library

Teachers and students from Art in the Afternoon presented a donation of all proceeds from a recent auction to Friends of the Library members on July 22.

“It’s a fine arts-based after-school program,” said S. Bly, a teacher at Art in the Afternoon.

Raising $1,000, there were 27 pieces at this year’s auction. According to Bebe Woodside, Vice President of Friends of the Library, the money will be used to purchase two more works of art by an artist with illustrations already in the children’s section of the library.

“He’s an illustrator, a local artist,” Woodside said. “The remaining money we will buy art books for children.”

Bly said this upcoming school year marks 15 years of the program. All of the children involved attend local schools and arrive at Art in the Afternoon after school to create hands-on art projects ranging from mosaics and pottery to painting, collage and drawing.

In addition to art education, Bly said children learn conflict resolution. Rather than punishing misbehavior, students learn to resolve conflicts together.

Every day, the program welcomes about thirty children divided between three monitors.

“We do collaborations with kids,” Bly said. “We are like artists in residence working with children.”

The pieces of the collaboration constitute a silent auction. Bly said that although most buyers are parents, 100% of the money raised each year is donated to a local charity or organization.

The charity coin started eight years ago, funding various projects such as local playgrounds and donating to Bounty & Soul. This year marks the first year of support for the library.

“I don’t know why I never thought of that,” Bly said.

Bly said Art in the Afternoon is accepting applications. Applicants should email [email protected]

Ezra Maille covers the town of Black Mountain, Montreat and the Swannanoa Valley. Contact him at 828-230-3324 or [email protected] Please support local journalism with access to more breaking news by subscribing.

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