Madison, GA

Art for Life Receives State Recognition for Excellence

Crystal Jackson

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Madison Artist Guild Logo and Senator Burt JonesImage courtesy of MAGallery and Press Release for Senator Jones

A local Morgan County art and education program recently received state recognition for excellence. In March, the Madison Artists Guild (MAG) received word that Georgia State Senator Burt Jones would be recognizing their Art for Life: Building Creativity, Community, and Connection program with the adoption of State Resolution 185. SR185 recognizes and commends the Art for Life program and champions educational excellence, community support, and the combination of life skills and art training for youth development.

Senator Jones will be presenting the Resolution to the Art for Life teachers, Madison Artists Guild, and the Morgan County Alternative Education Program (Crossroads School) on May 19th from 11:30-12:30 at a reception held in his honor at the Crossroads School. The public is invited to attend this event at 1551 Bethany Road in Madison.

Senator Jones discovered the Art for Life program when reading a December 2020 newspaper article about COMMUNITY/CONNECTION 2020, a street-photography public art exhibit installed by Crossroads students on the walls of their school. Jones then contacted the Madison Artists Guild to learn more about the Art for Life program and how this youth development program combined life skills with art training for a well-rounded and high-quality education.

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Crossroads Students COMMUNITY/CONNECTION 2020 ExhibitPhoto provided by Elizabeth Collins Hanes

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Crossroads Students COMMUNITY/CONNECTION 2020 ExhibitPhoto provided by Elizabeth Collins Hanes

The Art for Life program was developed by veteran Crossroads teachers Elizabeth Collins Hanes, Angelina Bellebuono, and Chuck Hanes. The program is administered by the Madison Artists Guild. It is a 100% donor-funded program. Contributions to this program have been donated by local residents, businesses, and community organizations in support of the arts in education.

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Crossroads School Art for Life ProgramPhoto provided by Elizabeth Collins Hanes

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Crossroads Students COMMUNITY/CONNECTION 2020 ExhibitPhoto provided by Elizabeth Collins Hanes

The Art for Life program involves two school sessions per week, field trips, and community programs for middle and high school students who attend the Morgan County Alternative School. This Crossroads School has been in operation for over 17 years as part of the Steffen Thomas Museum's educational outreach program. However, in 2019, it was expanded and began operating under the Madison Artists Guild's outreach program.

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Crossroads School Art for Life ProgramPhoto provided by Elizabeth Collins Hanes

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Crossroads School Art for Life ProgramPhoto provided by Elizabeth Collins Hanes

Art for Life is just one of the Art With a Heart outreach programs that the Madison Artists Guild administers. The May 19th event will also feature the installation of COMMUNITY/CONNECTION 2021, which will feature program participants' photography. Using cell phones, students have created, curated, and installed the previous exhibit and will install and showcase their new exhibit at the reception for Senator Jones and SR185.

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Crossroads School Art for Life ProgramPhoto provided by Elizabeth Collins Hanes

The Madison Artists Guild is a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to education and the encouragement of artistic endeavor in its members and the community through outreach programs, classes, workshops, and social gatherings. It supports local artists and their talents through MAGallery, a retail art gallery located at 125 W.Jefferson Street, Madison, GA. For membership information or to see more about the organization, please visit TheMadisonArtistsGuild.org or call 706-342-9360

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Crystal Jackson is a former therapist turned writer. She is the author of the Heart of Madison series and a volume of poetry entitled My Words Are Whiskey. Her work has been featured on Medium, Elite Daily, Thought Catalog, The Good Men Project, and Elephant Journal. When she's not writing, you can find her traveling, paddle boarding, cycling, throwing axes badly but with terrifying enthusiasm, hiking, or curled up with her nose in a book in Madison, Georgia, where she lives with one puppy and two wild and wonderful children. Crystal writes about relationships, mental health, parenting, social justice, and more. Never miss an update. Subscribe to emails: https://crystaljacksonwriter.substack.com/

Madison, GA
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