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Show You Care: Eastern Iowa Arts Academy celebrates 15 years of bringing arts to the community

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 5:06 AM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -The Eastern Iowa Arts Academy is celebrating 15 years of bringing arts and music to people of all ages.

Director of Operations Heather Wagner says it’s been incredible to see the non-profit grow over the years, saying “We really just started out doing programs with children in schools, doing an after school program, and now we have an on-campus program, a rock band group that we work with, we work with all kinds of special need adults and special needs children.”

With more than a dozen programs and several campuses, they’re letting kids relax and rock out, without any financial burdens- offering classes in art, music, creative writing and more at little to no cost. ”There’s never money as a barrier into art and music, and if a child wants to be able to learn a guitar just give us a holler and we’ll make it happen,” says Wagner.

Wagner says they see a huge difference in the kids they help. ”We see children literally change it before eyes we see kids start to bring out this out of hiding their self-esteem out of hiding all these great things about themselves underneath and once they do art and music they flourish they just come out and do they are now.”>

Recently launching a new program- Art Huts- making sure kids have access to art supplies even during the pandemic. The huts are set up at several locations across the community, filled with different supplies kids can come and take. That program is funded thanks to a grant from Variety -the Children’s Charity.

Wagner says it’s important to make sure everyone has the space and freedom to be creative. “I just see the difference it makes in their life. There’s a huge difference, it’s like night and day when they get to do art,” says Wagner. “Art saves lives and that’s what we’re here for.”

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