By Sheri L. Stuart, Staff Writer
FLINT, Mich. – Dedicated Believers Ministries has received two grant awards totaling $10,260 to continue its Art Education Outreach program in 2018. The program introduces African-American artists, artworks, and history to K-12 students in North Flint. The program is available as an after school offering to students attending Brownell STEM Academy, Doyle-Ryder Elementary, Holmes STEM Academy, and Flint Northwestern High School. Program funders include the Ruth Mott Foundation, Crim Fitness Foundation, and Puffin Foundation West, Ltd.
Pastor Anthony and Davida Artis, who founded Dedicated Believers Ministries, said what began for them as a traveling art display has blossomed into an art education and appreciation program for young people.
“We started out displaying our fine art collection at colleges and universities,” said Pastor Artis. “People would ask us, ‘what do you have for children or grandchildren?’ We started thinking we must be on to something,” he said.
In 2017, the ministry couple was invited to host a program at Grand Blanc Academy. Pastor Artis explained that the program encompasses much more than a simple arts and crafts class.
“We introduce an artist and start with a book. We then show a DVD featuring an artist in his/her own words. After that, we bring in and show art work from that artist’s collection. Older children are asked to write about the art work and describe what makes it valuable,” he said.
“Learning about African-American art was one of the best choices I ever made,” said Isaiah Artis, the youngest son of Pastor Artis and Davida who has co-led several of the sessions. “Being able to teach what I’ve learned is a blessing that I don’t take for granted,” he said.
Pastor Artis said the program has been well received by students and school administrators with several students requesting to retake the program because they enjoyed the experience so much.
“The program has been embraced by all races, people of different faiths and ethnicities. That part is cool,” Pastor Artis said.
Additional program partners and supporters include, The Artis Collection, First Book, and Good360.
For more information about Dedicated Believers Ministries, visit www.dedicatedbelievers.org.