*Almost $100,000 still needed for Perkins Center for the Arts

As part of #KeepingArtsAlive, Perkins Center for the Arts is inviting Youth Artists from the South Jersey community to share a meaningful piece of artwork or performance from the past year as an entry for a chance to be printed in the 2021 Perkins Center for the Arts Youth Arts Calendar or featured on the Perkins Center YouTube Channel. This spring, art shows and performances throughout our region were canceled due to the pandemic. As part of the #KeepingArtsAlive campaign, Perkins Center for the Arts wants to make sure the hard work of students and arts educators doesn’t go unnoticed. While summer camp will open in July, Perkins funds have reached a dangerously low status. This calendar, and sponsorships for it, is also a fundraiser to support Perkins Center.

“I’m excited to showcase the artwork of young people in our region,” said Kahra Buss, Executive Director of Perkins Center for the Arts. “We know that art plays an important role in our daily lives but also our emotions and our mental wellbeing. During the COVID closures it has been an essential means of coping with, sharing, and documenting our experiences.  Highlighting the experiences of our youth is so important.  While we’re working so hard to bring our Perkins family back to the building, this is a wonderful way for us to be together before we’re able to physically be together.”

When asked via social media: “How does making art inspire you? How does it make you feel?”, the student responses were powerful:

“Art is how I come at peace with myself and my surroundings. It is like an extension of myself and encourages me to show my emotions about specific places, people, or objects.”

“Art inspires me to use my imagination and create plans for the future. I made [a] Phoenix while in self-isolation to represent how we will rise out of this pandemic and be together with family and friends again.”

As NJ schools are required to provide learning in dance, music, theater, and visual arts, K-12 students are being asked to share their art in each of these forms to celebrate their diversity, imagination, and creative pursuits. A panel of judges will be asked to choose 12 finalists in visual arts and 12 finalists in performing arts. These finalists will be featured in the 2021 Perkins Center calendar and on the Perkins Center YouTube Channel, respectively, as well as part of a Perkins Center for the Arts online exhibition.

The deadline for entering is July 15, 2020 and winners will be announced on August 1, 2020. The contest is open to all K-12 students in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Mercer, Salem, & Atlantic Counties. Entries will be accepted in four categories: Dance, Music, Theater, and Visual Arts and should be shared as hi-res jpg, pdf, or mp4 files (video files must be in mp4 format). All entries will be shared via Perkins’ social media as part of the #KeepingArtsAlive campaign. Submissions can be entered at https://bit.ly/perkinscalendarentries. For more information, visit https://perkinsarts.org/exhibitions/keeping-arts-alive-youth-arts-exhibition/. Questions can be directed to create@perkinscenter.org or call 856.235.6488.

The long-term effects of COVID-19 will have a tremendous impact on all facets of the community and on Perkins. Over the last few months and throughout the coming weeks, Perkins will continue to make difficult decisions that ultimately affect the financial health of the Center. As Perkins awaits further instruction from the state and local officials, they are measuring the impact of fourth quarter losses to include Spring semester classes and the cancellation of the annual fundraiser, Handcrafted 2020. Unfortunately, this is just the beginning. Every day there are new challenges. Perkins is not simply an arts center, but also a community economic partner.  For every $1 invested in Perkins, the Center generates more than $4 back into our local economies (Burlington, Camden & Gloucester).


About Perkins Center for the Arts:

Perkins Center for the Arts is a regional, multi-disciplinary arts center, whose mission is to provide authentic arts experiences that enrich and inspire. To create  a full creative life for all, Perkins Center for the Arts commits to championing policies and practices of cultural equity that empower a just, inclusive and equitable community.  With locations in Moorestown and Collingswood to serve the community, Perkins Center for the Arts strives to enrich lives, inspire learning, collaboration, interdisciplinary and intercultural experiences through the arts with programs and services which include; a conservatory of music; visual and performing arts classes; exhibitions; concerts; artist-led school residency programs; a scholarship and fee-based camp for urban and suburban youth; one of only five folk life centers in New Jersey; and community enrichment projects throughout Southern Jersey. For more information about education, exhibitions, lessons, events, and camp at the Perkins Center, visit www.perkinsarts.org or call 856.235.6488.

Perkins Center for the Arts is a proud recipient of funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, A Partner Agency of the National Endowment of the Arts and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional Support provided by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and Borough of Collingswood, Holman Automotive, National Endowment for the Arts, Discover Jersey Arts, Horizon Foundation for the Arts, The Nick & Edna Weller Charities, Inc., PNC Arts Alive, and the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.