Graduate rallies volunteers
to bring arts to schools
by Andrew Shurtleff
Arts Volunteers founder, Sarah Rude, talks with a student
at the Newcomb Hall Ballroom showcase of song, dance, painting
and stories by students from Charlottesvilles Venable
and Walker Upper Elementary schools.
By Jane Ford
a recent Saturday afternoon, area students were dressed in their
Sunday best as they proudly showed
off artistic accomplishments to family members gathered in Newcomb
Hall Ballroom. They sang and danced, showed off paintings and
stories all talents that had blossomed from seeds planted
by one U.Va. student.
showcase is my favorite part of the program, said Sarah
Rude, creator of Community Arts Volunteers. She created the program
to provide an outlet for her own artistic energy and to provide
lessons in the arts to youngsters who might not be able to afford
them. Rude, who has played the viola for 11 years, also sings,
writes poetry and fiction, and is learning to play the electric
an organizational standpoint, we spend a lot of time planning,
and to see all the work we put in as a seed that has grown and
developed into something we can show everyone makes me very proud,
Rude started the program, she quickly found there were many other
U.Va. students willing to share their artistic talents. They
may be planning to go to medical school but play the piano, and
this lets them have an outlet for their artistic talents,
she said. To see so many students who have the same combination
of good will and artistic energy is heartening.
program, now in its third semester, has grown to include about
50 volunteers who reach more than 100 pupils in group settings
at Charlottesvilles Venable Elementary and Walker Upper
Elementary schools. The U.Va. students engage the pupils in historic
crafts, landscape painting, figure drawing, mask making and art
history, and they give lessons in poetry, piano, violin, drama,
dance and song.
is an integral part of the Walker after-school program, said Luvelle
Brown, assistant principal. He praised Rude for her leadership
role and ability to get volunteers to show up week after week.
He emphasized that the U.Va. students are important role models
for the youngsters.
Huml, director of Venables after-school program, said CAVS
expands the schools ability to offer a range of art classes.
Having people with the ability to teach art, specifically,
brings an element of formal training to the children, she
Dowd, director of a city program that oversees summer and after-school
enrichment programs in all the schools, said, The trend
is to get away from these sorts of things in the classroom because
of the Standards of Learning requirements. This is exactly the
thing Id like to do in all the programs. Its fun,
but its learning.
said she was touched when one of the students she taught said,
Were lucky to have each other.
who is graduating with a double major in political and social
thought and in the modern studies program in the English department,
developed her love of helping others in high school in Dale City,
where she tutored elementary students in a program she created.
Knowing CAVS will be in good hands next year, she plans to continue
helping youngsters and sharing her artistic talents in AmeriCorps
and WritersCorps in Washington, D.C., before pursuing a Ph.D.
in American studies.