Each March, the Arts Council of Greater Lansing celebrates Youth Art Month with its Young Creatives Billboard Project in partnership with Adams Outdoor Advertising. Youth Arts Month is a national program founded by the Council for Art Education in 1961 and emphasizes the importance of having quality arts education programming in the K-12 school curriculum.
The “Support Young Creatives” Billboard Project and advocacy campaign, now in its eighth year, invites all Greater Lansing teachers who work in Ingham, Eaton and Clinton County school districts to submit student art for this annual competition. Selected youth art is then displayed on Adams Outdoor Advertising digital billboard space throughout the region for the entire month of March.
“Our Young Creatives Billboard Project is an Arts Council favorite, as we love to celebrate youth artists and the importance of arts education. We appreciate the teachers’ commitment and hard work in gathering submissions, especially right now when they are putting in extra time due to the pandemic,” said Meghan Martin, Arts Council executive director. “Focusing on the arts from a youth perspective gives us all a chance to see the world through new eyes,” Martin said.
This year, 22 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, as well as their combined representation of age, gender, school district and region.
Clara Hedges, Cornell Elementary, Okemos Public Schools, fourth grade—teacher, Lindsey Price
Patrick Keefe, St. Martha School, Diocese of Lansing, second grade—teacher, Elizabeth Wylegala
Ada Lesnau, Cole Academy East, Cole Academy School District, second grade—teacher, Layna Lesnau
Claudia Miklavcic, Haslett High School, Haslett Public Schools, twelfth grade—teacher, Kaylee Fletcher
Kayla Turner, Williamston High School, Williamston Community Schools, twelfth grade—teacher, Meagan Kubu
Azul Vazquez, Waverly Middle School, Waverly Community Schools, eighth grade—teacher, Laura Weber
“This program is an important piece of our Young Creatives programming, which offers grants, educational opportunities and resources to area youth and organizations that provide youth programming. It allows us to advocate for youth arts education along with our community partners and show young people that creativity is a skill that deserves to be fostered,” 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, Michigan State University Federal Credit Union—Desk Drawer Fund, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.