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Non-profit that puts art teachers in Detroit schools looks to expand

Jul 21, 2017

More Detroit school kids could get art instruction, if a non-profit group succeeds in raising the money.

Last year, Art Road provided art teachers in four Detroit public schools. It hopes to boost that number in years to come.

This weekend, the group is teaming up with the Michigan Glass Project for its third-annual glassblowing festival at the Russell Industrial Center.

Citing nationwide trends towards cuts in art programs in schools, Art Road's Carol Hofgartner says the organization's mission is to replace those missing classes in schools that have need. 

"We employ artists to be in the classroom all year long," says Hofgartner. "We're basically the art program in these schools, but it's all year long."

The Michigan Glass Project had previously raised funds for the Belle Isle Aquarium with its festivals, but in 2015 shifted its focus to supporting art for young people by working with Art Road.

"We started with them in 2015 and we donated $40,000 that year. Last year we were able to double that donation to $80,000. We're here in full swing of our event and hoping to raise another 80 and hopefully more," says Allison Key of the Michigan Glass Project.

Art Road is currently in four schools in the Detroit Public School system: Spain Elementary School, Spain Middle School, Charles Wright Academy of Art and Science, and Edison Elementary School. 

The festival will feature live glassblowing demonstrations, live music, and a silent auction.