SkyArt helps kids stay creative with art kits, video tutorials during COVID-19 pandemic

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The South Chicago organization SkyArt is trying to make sure that even though kids are stuck inside, there are still opportunities to have a creative space at home.

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"Our kids come to us every day because they get something meaningful from us at SkyArt, and for us it's just really important to be there for our kids," said Devon VanHouten-Maldonado, assistant director of programs at SkyArt. "So we're doing what we can while we can't be at our space."

Keeping creative minds active even during Illinois' shelter in place, SkyArt serves more than 3,000 kids every year. The non-profit is finding ways to continue to serve by handing out art kits for kids to use at home.

"We decided to give it a try and just sort of put together those 25 bags on Friday with supplies we had lying around the studio," VanHouten-Maldonado said. "And we posted it on social media and sent a text message to parents as well. We said come from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and by 3 o'clock, all the bags were gone."

The organization scrambled to make more, and those went just as fast. So they are adding another option: online art tutorials for kids to follow along.

"So what we're trying to do now is Facebook Live, Instagram Live and record a higher quality video that we'll turn into a YouTube tutorial," VanHouten-Maldonado said. "That YouTube tutorial being a higher quality product that kids can come back to and have some explanatory text and stuff like that."

SkyArt hopes to continue to hand out art bags with the help of art supply donations and create videos several times a week to give kids creative options at home.

"We're going to maintain social distancing and just give the bags out the front door," VanHouten-Maldonado said. "The idea is to keep going because we don't know how long this is going to last."

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You can also donate art supplies to keep their mission going and see a wish list of supplies for their art kits.
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