An important part of the Arts Council Greater Lansing’s mission is to support youth arts and advocate for arts programming in our region’s schools. Each year they celebrate Youth Art Month with their Young Creatives Billboard Project, funded in part through a partnership with Adams Outdoor Advertising. Youth Art Month is a national program founded by the Council for Art Education and emphasizes the importance of having quality arts education programming in the K-12 school curriculum.
The “Support Young Creatives” Billboard Project provides the region’s student creatives an opportunity to have their art work featured on area digital billboards. The program shows them how valued art is in the community and the impact it can have. The program invites all Ingham, Eaton and Clinton County school district teachers and homeschool educators to submit a piece of student art for this annual competition. The selected works are then displayed on Adams Outdoor Advertising digital billboard space throughout the Greater Lansing Region during the month of March.
“Celebrating young artists helps them to embrace their creativity and see how art can play an important role in their education and in the growth of their community,” said Arts Council executive director, Meghan Martin. “This annual campaign allows us to draw attention to our talented youth artists and put a focus on the importance of arts education, while also making it accessible to everyone,” Martin said.
This year 19 original artworks were submitted by Greater Lansing area teachers and six final pieces were selected for the billboards based on composition and overall visual elements, including roadside appeal and their combined representation of age, school district and county.
The 2023 Young Creatives billboards feature the art of the following youth artists:
• Fiona Lesnau, Cole Academy East, Cole Academy School District, second grade—teacher, Layna Lesnau
• Allison Armstrong, Leslie High School, Leslie School District, eleventh grade—teacher, Patricia David
• Matilda MacDonald, Hayes Intermediate School, Grand Ledge Public Schools, sixth grade—teacher, TD Brown
• Amara Mailloux, Stepping Stones Montessori, East Lansing, first grade—teacher, Wendy Sylvester-Rowan
• Pramika Bodeddula, Okemos High School, Okemos Public Schools, twelfth grade—teacher, Amanda Welch
• Liz Schafer, Williamston High School, Williamston Community Schools, eleventh grade—teacher, Meagan Kubu
“The Young Creatives Billboard Program is an important piece of the work we do to advocate for the arts in schools and highlight the importance of youth arts education,” said Martin. “We are extremely grateful to all of our area teachers, students, families and sponsors who work with us to make this happen.”
The Young Creatives Billboard Program and annual campaign is sponsored by Adams Outdoor Advertising, MSUFCU Desk Drawer Fund, Michigan Arts and Culture Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Calls to teachers for next year’s program will go out in December 2023.