Menifee Students Develop Art Skills at Youth Art Institute

Students use crayons to create artwork in one of the classes at the Summer Art Institute. Abou...

Students use crayons to create artwork in one of the classes at the Summer Art Institute.
About 200 students from the Quail Valley community of Menifee are developing their artistic skills this week in the 2014 Summer Youth Art Institute, sponsored by Arts Council Menifee.

This is the second year of the week-long program, in which Arts Council Menifee provides free instruction in the arts to children ages 6-11. The program is funded through the Community Development Block Grant program for implementation at two local schools. Next week, the program shifts to Romoland Elementary School.

The City of Menifee, Assistance League of Temecula Valley and Southern California Edison are additional sponsors for the program, in which students spend 90 minutes per day developing skills in drawing, painting and other art forms.

This year, Arts Council Menifee board members chose to add creative writing to the program. Painting and artwork are taught on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and creative writing concepts are taught on Tuesday and Thursday. Teachers from local schools and other volunteers provide the instruction and supervision.

"We want to show the children that the arts is more than just painting," said Bill Zimmerman, president of Arts Council Menifee. "Each year, we want to bring one more component to the program. This year, that component is creative writing and poetry."

The program is part of the ever-expanding outreach program of Arts Council Menifee, which was voted Non-Profit Organization of the Year by the Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce. Creative writing teachers are working under the direction of Shirley Wible, who heads up the literary division of ACM.

One of the teachers working with the students Wednesday was Anna Arroyo, an art teacher at Paloma Valley High School. She was working with children ages 5-6.

"Today they