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Use This Hashtag to Connect With Other Artists During Your Self-Isolation

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Photo by Nestor / The Art Effect

The Poughkeepsie program encourages Hudson Valley students and community members to connect online through social media art challenges.

If you’re sitting at home experiencing a major case of cabin fever, listen up. Poughkeepsie’s The Art Effect is here to break up the blahs and inspire creativity during the COVID-19 crisis. By moving media and art classes online, the Dutchess County program encourages social distancing while forging connections with the community at large.

And it all starts with the hashtag #ArtAtHome.

“We want to be a resource to further students’ opportunities and help them in engaging their messages,” says The Art Effect Executive Director Nicole Fenichel-Hewitt. In regard to the #ArtAtHome challenge, she explains that anyone with a passion for art is welcome to participate. All people need to do is craft a piece in response to the program’s prompt for the day, post a photo on social media, and share the challenge with others. The Art Effect re-posts and tags favorite creators on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and is currently building a webpage to archive the artistry.

Not only does art at home relieve stress and anxiety, “it’s a way for families to interact with one another by stimulating new ideas,” Fenichel-Hewitt adds.

The Art Effect strives to empower young people to find their voice while helping them remain in school, receive scholarships to attend college, and, with persistence and tenacity, graduate with art-based careers.

Recognizing the need for art at home while social distancing, The Art Effect helps family members and students switch from in-person to online platforms. The program’s staff members are currently creating a menu of options for editing video content and supporting partner agencies.

Spark Studios / Photo by The Art Effect

Although switching from in-person classes to an online platform has been a challenge, it’s a navigable one. Staff members make a point to keep the one-on-one mentorship between students alive. The team at The Art Effect looks at new techniques to “retain the value of mentorship”, says Fenichel-Hewitt, like teaching students how to scan their work. According to a community survey, overall feedback from students and families is positive.

“So many shifts are happening. We are happy to see how adaptable we are,” Fenichel-Hewitt says.

For students who don’t have online access at home, The Art Effect ready to save the day. The program provides iPads to students without devices who are current members. While the move online is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Art Effect hope to use digital programming even after the health crisis eases. It’s yet another way spread a love for art and inspire creativity throughout the Hudson Valley and beyond.

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