CAC during the COVID-19 Pandemic

When schools and educational programs closed for in-person programming in March 2020, Community Art Collaborative Members immediately sprung into action.  They immediately began hosting art-making workshops on Instagram Live and Facebook Live, so their students could connect with them from home.  Some CAC Members began creating their own "How To" Art Making Videos that could be shared on their Host Site's website and YouTube Channels.  Many Members also identified that many of their K-12 students did not have any art-making supplies in their homes. They quickly began working with their Site Supervisors to create “art kits” that could be shipped to or dropped off at students’ homes.   By the summer of 2020, all CAC Members were leading virtual art classes on a weekly or daily basis, on platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, Google Classrooms, and Blackboard. 

As the CAC Members looked back on the resources they were discovering and developing between March-June 2020, they decided to compile all the resources into this website: Universal Connections: A Time In Need

Universal Connection is an online collection of artistic and wellness resources for youth, that have been developed, created, and discovered by Members of the Community Art Collaborative (CAC) AmeriCorps program from March - June 2020.  CAC Members responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with a tremendous sense of innovation, creativity, ingenuity, and flexibility.  They have found new ways to serve youth and families in Baltimore City, despite the challenges that the pandemic situation poses.  CAC Members have been identifying resources; discovering new free software; creating videos; and leading online classes.  

Examples:  (Links to Universal Connections)

Updates in 2020-21

In Fall 2020,  a new Cohort of CAC began the year entirely virtually.  (8 CAC Members returned for a 2nd or 3rd year, and 7 new CAC Members joined the program.)  After learning many lessons in how to run virtual programs over the summer, all of CAC's 2020-21 Community Partners began the new school year with a plan to offer and host virtual classes.  By February 2021, all CAC Members are teaching virtual classes to K-12 youth on a weekly, and sometimes daily, basis. 

Examples of virtual classes include: 

  • Visual Storytelling (video + photography) for high school students at Wide Angle Youth Media (led by CAC Member Sydney Allen)
  • Recycle Art (visual art + mixed media) for elementary school students at Jubilee Arts (led by CAC Member Alexa Oliveira)
  • Youth Leaders / Youth Assistants (youth leadership development) at Access Art (led by CAC Members Chelsi Johnson, Joshua Olsen, and Antoinella Peterkin)
  • Visual Art & Drumming at 901 Arts (led by CAC Member Renee Anderson)
  • Art Making & History Connections at the B & O Railroad Museum (led by CAC Member Jemn Napper)