Co-Founder and Teaching Artist, Mini Art Center
photo by cheryl gerber
While working as a full-time teacher at a local grade school, Molly Trudeau had several parents ask for information about nearby art opportunities for children. Although she encouraged them to visit large institutions such as the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Trudeau soon realized New Orleans needed a community art center. With support from Propeller and 4.0, she and her husband Prescott Trudeau located and renovated a space in Algiers Point, and the Mini Art Center was created.
Neighborhood Art For All
Part of Trudeau’s plan harkens back to the WPA mission, which was a point in history when many arts classes were made accessible to anyone. With that in mind, she has taken steps to make the Mini Art Center as open and friendly as possible. The studio has open hours when kids can get in for only $5, and they gain access to paint and other supplies, interactive gallery exhibitions, guided workshops and the animation studio. Families can spend a few minutes – or all afternoon – engrossed in creative projects.
Big Ideas For Little Artists
Trudeau explains that art can enrich children’s education across the board. The hands-on task of creation allows kids to develop problem-solving skills in a tangible way, as well as learn to think outside of the box.
Furthermore, the Mini Art Center excels at getting everyone involved in art, to the point where some parents get back into it as well. The variety of tasks available means that children of different ages, from preschoolers to preteens, can find projects to interest them. And some children get so engrossed that they practically have to be dragged away when it’s time to leave. Trudeau considers the center’s ability to get children completely engrossed in artistic creation a great success.
“Art feels far away for a lot of people. But art is like a fingerprint – everyone’s marks are their own,” Trudeau says.
At this point, the Mini Art Center needs help getting the word out about their accessible studio and projects. Financial donations are always welcome, and donations of art supplies are appreciated as well. Trudeau notes that their staff is pretty ingenious with turning recycled materials into art as well. Lastly, any parents, grandparents and other caretakers are welcome to drop by the center to explore the arts with their children. The Mini Art Center is located at 341 Seguin St. in Algiers Point. You can call them at 510-4747, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit MiniArtCenter.com for more information.