Local organization gets kids into music, arts at little to no cost

For the past 15 years, an Eastern Iowa Middle School teacher has been helping kids explore the arts at little to no cost. KCRG-TV9's Phil Reed reports.
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 6:43 AM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - For the past 15 years, an eastern Iowa middle school teacher has been helping kids explore the arts at little to no cost. And there’s an event coming up soon that can help keep that effort going.

David Griffin is the founder of the Cedar Rapids nonprofit “Eastern Iowa Arts Academy.” His passion is to give kids an alternative outlet. He started it in 2007 because he wanted something for kids who may not be involved in sports to do.

”I just saw the great need of after school activities for kids that enjoy the arts and music, creative writing theatre, so we got a little non profit together,” said Griffin.

Since the beginning, it’s grown from a single class to music and art sessions all over Cedar Rapids. Griffin says it’s helped kids come out of their shell.

“Most importantly, just the emotional standpoint of the arts is so crucial,” said Griffin. “Especially nowadays coming off of COVID we’re just seeing really extreme cases where kids need something to get involved with, they need someone to confide in.”

Eastern Iowa Arts Academy offers their services to families at little to no cost, and it’s thanks to various fundraisers they put together. That includes their Junkin’ Sale, where people can rummage through items to buy. Money goes toward their financial aid program. It’s set for the Eastern Iowa Arts Academy parking lot at 1841 E Avenue northeast in Cedar Rapids on August 19th and 20th.

Griffin calls the benefits of the program priceless to the children.

”It gives them self-esteem. It makes them belong to a community if you will. of other like minded individuals who have the same talents and interest.”

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