Grand Art brings fourth- and fifth-graders together with a teacher and volunteer
senior citizens to create art projects and foster interaction between the generations.
Projects for this after-school program are chosen to be interesting and accessible
for both the children and the senior volunteers, especially including grandparents. The
emphasis is on the fun of art rather than on learning rules.
The instructor is Autumn Bildson, who has taught children at the Birmingham-
Bloomfield Art Center downstate for more than 20 years.
Children who enroll will ride a regular Alcona Schools bus to the Lincoln Senior
Center on each early-release Friday during the school year unless, of course, school has
been canceled on a particular day. (Grand Art does not run on school half-day Fridays.)
The kids will be given a chance to play for about 15 to 30 minutes on the upstairs
gym floor to release pent-up energy. Then they’ll be taken downstairs for the art lesson.
That lesson will end about 30 minutes before dinnertime for the seniors (currently 5
p.m.; changes to 4:30 on and after Nov. 8). During the last half-hour, kids will clean up
the room and get themselves ready for dinner.
All enrolled children are invited to stay for dinner with the seniors at no cost to
the children. (Inspiration Alcona and the Harrisville Arts Council cover the children’s
meals.) We encourage parents to take advantage of the dinner option because dining
with the seniors helps kids build social skills and enlivens the seniors’ week. Other
family members may also come to dinner, but the Senior Center charges $6 per meal for
anyone less than 60 years old.
Parents or guardians may pick up children either just before dinner or just after,
depending on whether the child is staying for the optional dinner.
The Grand Art program is jointly sponsored by Inspiration Alcona, the Harrisville
Arts Council, Alcona Community Schools and the Alcona County Commission on Aging.
Inspiration Alcona’s support comes in part through grants from the Michigan Council
for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Barring school cancellations, the first-semester dates for Grand Art are Sept. 27;
Oct. 4, 18 and 25; Nov. 1, 8 and 22; Dec. 6, and Jan. 10.
Children must be enrolled through the elementary school office.