West Windsor Arts Council creates a new fine arts program

2019 Certificate in Fine Arts Logo

A new program is giving young children a chance to advance their arts skills at the West Windsor Arts Council.

The program is called the Certificate in Fine Arts (CiFA) program and will be a part of the classes and workshops the arts council provides in the fall.

“Basically, we have created foundational classes that will be part of the start of this new program. New students coming in are able to progress through a curriculum that gives them a more progressive education in the arts,” said Aylin Green, executive director of the West Windsor Arts Council. “This program will also recognize the student’s achievements along the way.”

Green said she describes the classes the council provides as an a la carte system, where students can pick or choose what they want.

“This program differs from [others] because it will be more formalized, and recognize the commitment to keep sticking with it and build student skills over time,” Green said.

Students in the CiFA program can select either a visual or performing arts path for themselves. Classes include sequential learning and skill building, sketchbooks for all students where they document what they are learning, practice with high quality materials, learning and mentoring from accomplished teaching artists, and with each class session, the students build towards the next level of achievement.

The program consists of different levels that students can begin learning under. For visual classes, the courses are recognized as “foundation” courses, while performing are “journey.” Beginning at Foundation or Journey I, students can earn a gift from the arts council as well as their name on the completion wall. In Foundation or Journey II, students will earn the same as the first, but with the addition of an award at student exhibition showcase.

The final level, which is the advanced section of the program, students will earn everything from the second level, in addition to an official arts council artistic license.

The program is recommended to children to begin between the ages of six and eight. For the complete coursework, students usually take five years of education.

“We have been working on this program for awhile. We have been experimenting with some related projects,” Green said. “This new program is based off the feedback from the parents of our students who want to build upon what their children have already learned. We have skills that are art based and also personal development skills that all of those classes will address.”

Green said education is important because it provides a strong foundation for the arts.

“Anyone who wants to continue their personal enrichment is one of the tenants of the program. This new program is about educating the whole of the child in engaging and enriching ways,” she said. “The students will learn broader skills that they can use in whatever their interests are.”

The new program will be officially unveiled at the art center open house on Sept.7, which will begin at 1 p.m.

For more information about the new program, visit www.westwindsorarts.org.