The Pontchartrain Chapter of The Links, Incorporated is creating and supporting opportunities for educating minority youth in the arts and presenting and supporting performances by youth and accomplished professional artists in a diversity of disciplines.
The goal of The Arts Facet is to produce and support programs to enrich the quality of life of our youth and communities through educational and engaging art experiences while Transforming Communities, Fulfilling Our Purpose. Our programming includes arts integration within our chapter and partnerships with like-minded organizations, sowing the seed of creativity deeper in our community.
CLASSICS THROUGH THE AGES
Arts education plays a central role in cognitive, motor, language, psycho-social development by stimulating imagination. The Pontchartrain Chapter of The Links, Incorporated implemented a local Arts program that is aligned with the goal of The Arts Facet of The Links, Incorporated at the national level. Our Chapter’s vision in implementing this program was to support a local high school’s visual arts program with monetary donations, and continuing to support and nurture our city’s great tradition of robust high school music curriculum fostered by its high school marching bands legacy. It was the Chapter’s vision to provide a depth of instruction for older students who were interested in pursuing a career in the arts through our Classics Through The Ages Program. Our hope is that as a result of the program, more opportunities will be available for students to increase their knowledge and skills in the following areas:
Instrumental Music - Aural skills, orchestration, breath posture, pitch, rhythm, tempo, beat patterns, fingering, and overall mastery of instrument-playing.
Vocal Music - reading of complex sheet music, performing music from a variety of genres, mastering singing in parts, and performing music following conductor's gestures.
Arts - Developing skills in drawing and illustration, perfecting the use of light and tone, learning how to care for art supplies, including, but not limited to, brushes and canvas, and developing artistic works that can be displayed in juried competitions.
The program was implemented at McDonogh 35 to support talented band students who show special promise, interest and ability in their instrument. The selected talented student musician receives private lessons from 10th through 12th grade with a professional New Orleans musician who is an established master of the student's chosen instrument. In his or her junior year, they mentor and assist other students in the band in his or her section. Each summer the Pontchartrain Chapter sponsors the student at the Louis Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp, a 3-week music performing arts camp for high school students from all over the U.S., housed at Loyola University. Our Chapter also provides performance opportunities for the Classics Through the Ages student, as well as her fellow band members, at Chapter Events.
Links Keep the Music Playing In 1999 our chapter donated one trombone and 2 trumpets to O. Perry Walker High School. Every year since then, our chapter has been active in making donations to school bands and youth music programs in New Orleans, as well as visual arts programs. We have purchased musical instruments to support the McDonogh 35 Marching Band, as well as, McDonogh 35 Gospel Choir.
In 2019, The Pontchartrain Chapter of the Links awarded a $500 scholarship to Theron Sanchez, the Chapter's first Classics Through the Ages talented student in the Arts. Theron attended McDonogh 35 Senior High School, where he played the trumpet in the marching and jazz bands. He graduated from NOCCA in 2019 and is a freshman majoring in Music at Delgado Community College. The Chapter provided private music lessons for Theron and sponsored him for two summers at the Louis Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp, where he excelled. The Arts Facet Committee and our chapter members are proud to provide support for Theron's music education and look forward to his future accomplishments as a talented musician.
CLASSICS THROUGH THE AGES SCHOLARSHIP
NATIONAL POSTER COMPETITION
The National Poster Art Competition was created in 1995 in conjunction with the Links' National Walk-A-Thon. The National Poster Art Competition gives talented visual art students in the upper grades, as well as young students in the lower grades, who are just beginning the opportunity to compete on local and National levels. The Pontchartrain Chapter partners with public schools with strong visual arts programs and professional artists on staff who assist the students with their poster art entries for the competition. Members of the Chapter's Arts Committee, along with invited professional artists, conduct a local contest among the students competing in each grade/category level. Pursuant to the local contest, each poster entry is judged using clearly defined criteria and the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners are selected. The winning 1st place student in each category receives a monetary prize and their poster is entered into the National contest. Cash prizes are also awarded to the 2nd and 3rd place winners in each category. All students who submit posters receive a Certificate of Achievement, acknowledging their participation in the program.
One of The Southern Area Signature Initiative for The Arts Facet is Connecting Threads. Connecting Threads is an inter-generational STEAM oriented programs that connects chapters with youth through the art of quilting while integrating STEM education. Artist Noir focuses on introducing multiple disciplines to the next generation. Throughout the program year, youth are exposed to the creativity of local artists. Their education culminates in an artist showcase of their new-found talents with their creative muses.
The Pontchartrain Chapter worked with a local quilter, Ms. Cecilia Pedescleaux, to design and create two quilts for the Connecting Threads program. In addition, members met with the quilter to select the fabric and to learn about the basics of quilt making. As part of the program, the quilter accompanied chapter members and their high school mentees to a special art exhibit at the New Orleans Museum of Art on the Quilts of Gee’s Bend. While at the exhibit, members and mentees learned about the history, culture, and significance of quilting in the Deep South. Ms. Pedescleaux also plans to provide members with two quilting workshops.
Artist Noir focuses on introducing multiple disciplines to the next generation. Throughout the program year, youth are exposed to the creativity of local artists. Their education culminates in an artist showcase of their new found talents with their creative muses.The Pontchartrain Chapter provides music lessons for a local high school student through this program. In addition, the chapter identifies opportunities for the student to perform and use skills in educational and public settings. Specifically, the chapter sponsors private music lessons for talented music students and band members at McDonogh 35 High School. Our chapter currently provides 13 annual lessons with the world-renown artist, Mr. Roderick Paulin for a female band student who is a rising senior, Jahari Sanders.
MENTEES ENGAGE IN ART ACTIVITY
The Arts and Services to Youth Facets collaborated to present an art session to our Rising Stars mentees. Lecturer and Art Teacher Carolyn Miller was on hand teaching the girls basic painting techniques. Each mentee painted a fruit basket and put unique touches on the basket with bright colors and creative backgrounds. Links sisters were also present assisting the mentees as needed. Prior to the art session, mentees also brainstormed with Link sisters about Edgar Guest’s poem “Equipment,” which is noted as George Washington Carver’s favorite poem.