Below is Barrington Area Volunteer Connection’s ninth installment of their profile program, highlighting non-profits using BAVC for their volunteering needs. Keep reading for the profile of Kaleidoscope School of Fine Art.
Interview with Annmarie Dymon – Executive Director | Kaleidoscope School of Fine Art
What do you feel is the most important benefit your organization provides to the community? Or what do you feel is the best thing about your organization?
Kaleidoscope School of Fine Art has been a staple of the Barrington community since its inception in 1986. From a small blue house on Cook Street to our Main Street location today, we have been providing art lessons and a creative outlet to the Barrington community for generations. We are a community-based art school that is working cooperatively with other non for profits and local businesses to enrich lives through visual arts. Over the past year, we have expanded our network and made connections with many local Barrington organizations.
How do you utilize volunteers in your organization?
Kaleidoscope is fortunate to have volunteers helping us in all aspects of our organization. Our Youth Board members assist teachers in the classroom, prepare materials for Senior Outreach, participate in community activities, and provide support for Art-Reach activities.
What tips do you have for new or existing volunteers?
We encourage volunteers to get involved right away- jump in and help out! We encourage our volunteers to understand our mission and lend their time or talent to contribute to that mission.
What advice would you give to other nonprofits that need to make use of volunteers?
Find meaningful activities for your volunteers, and be sure to use their time wisely. Always be appreciative of your volunteers’ time and efforts, and be sure to recognize their contributions.
How has your organization handled the challenges during Covid, as far as your services, programs, staffing, etc?
During three months of 2020, we were closed due to Covid. During the closure, we took some time to create a new website, update our registration software and evaluate our operations. These improvements ultimately led to a successful re-opening in June 2020 for 10 weeks of summer camps, where we had more than 500 kids in attendance. We were happy to provide a sense of normalcy and a creative outlet during a difficult time. Throughout the fall, winter and spring, we continued to offer in-person art classes with appropriate precautions in place. We’re looking forward to another successful summer ahead!
Are there any new programs or new initiatives you will be implementing for 2021?
In 2021, we will be implementing a new Art-Reach initiative to bring art to underserved populations. Thanks to a grant from BACF, we will be bringing art to low-income students and students with special needs. We are committed to the idea that Art is for Everyone, so we are working to make sure that our classes are inclusive and accessible to all.
Interesting in becoming a part of Barrington Area Volunteer Connection? Join us today at volunteer.thebavc.org!