The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University will help school children and others journey to faraway places this summer, and the only passport they'll need is a welcome from their local library.
This is the third consecutive year that the Quick Center has joined a number of libraries across New York and Pennsylvania as a partner in the Collaborative Summer Reading Program, a national consortium of 49 states that helps offer a themed summer reading program through community libraries.
Miranda Armagost, the Quick Center's education assistant, will load supplies into the center's ArtMobile and hit the road, delivering lessons once a week at 10 participating libraries. The program begins Monday and continues through the month.
Miranda Armagost of St. Bonaventure University’s Quick Center for the Arts will load up the center’s ArtMobile and deliver lessons to libraries across the Twin Tiers through July.
Participating public libraries include those in Olean, Allegany, Portville, Salamanca, Randolph, Cuba and Belfast in New York; as well as Coudersport, Port Allegany and Duke Center in Pennsylvania. Interested children are asked to sign up at their local library.
''We saw the opportunity to integrate art into the overall theme of the summer reading program,'' said Evelyn Sabina, curator of education at the Quick Center. ''It seemed a logical fit, and the libraries have been so welcoming and appreciative. We have this incredible resource right here at St. Bonaventure, but not everyone can get to it. We basically bring the Quick Center to them.''
This year's summer reading theme is "One World, Many Stories," so the Quick Center's focus is on culturally diverse art forms. Program participants will be introduced to Japanese woodblock printing, African mask making and Native American beadwork. All tie in with collections or exhibitions housed at the Quick Center, allowing those intrigued by a particular art form to learn more by visiting the museum.
The Olean Public Library has partnered with the Quick Center the past two summers and welcomes the program back again this year.
''The Quick program is a wonderful fit," said librarian Mary DiRisio, noting Olean is gearing its program for teens through adults. "It's designed to go along with the 'One World, Many Stories' theme, so the art activities will focus on how Asian, African and Native American art can tell a story. Each week, participants will learn about art from various cultures and, as a result, make their own art piece, which will be a reflection of themselves and that particular culture."
DiRisio said the Quick program is always popular, and openings fill up fast.
Armagost, a Salamanca native, graduated from Buffalo State College with a bachelor's degree in art education in 2008 and taught in North Carolina for two years before returning to the region. She looks forward to taking the Quick Center on the road.
"It's exciting to be collaborating with local libraries on this summer program, and to be able to expand the reach of this extraordinary arts center," she said.