Combating the decline of arts in schools, a Texas-based start-up has set out to destroy this monstrous trend, by challenging school children to draw.
The aptly named Monster Project enlists established artists to bring kids' monster drawings to life, transforming the students' doodles into new, collaborative projects. Its strategy is simple: First, an elementary schooler creates an illustration of, say, a purple, people-eating monster. Then, that illustration is handed over to a professional artist, who morphs the drawing into their own rendering, equipped with complex colors, shapes and scenarios.
"As artists ourselves, we know firsthand how important that initial exposure to art can truly alter the shape of a child's entire life," creator Katie Johnson explains on the startup's Kickstarter campaign. "By collaborating with the students and finding inspiration from their imaginings, we hope to help them recognize the value of their ideas and make them feel excited about the potential of their own minds."
Most experts agree -- early exposure to art in a classroom setting not only contributes to visual learning, it can also supplement language development, general motor skills, and the ability to excel in math and sciences. "I have no hesitation in saying we need to add the letter A," says Harvard University education professor Howard Gardner, when discussing the acronym STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). "An education devoid of arts … is an empty, half-brain kind of education."
With over one hundred monsters and counting, the Monster Project hopes to expand to more schools through crowdfunding. So far, the group has only worked with two schools, one in Austin and one in Dallas, but it hopes to launch a volunteer group in New York City next.
See a preview of the Monster Project below:
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