McClymonds High School Students Show Up For Last In-Person Art Classes of 2021

Cathy Niland | 12.21.2021

A few weeks back on Wednesday, December 8, 32 McClymonds High School students joined us for a series of 3-Hour Tasters—the final free classes for McClymonds students of the year. Every student who registered attended and they were some of our most enthusiastic participants yet.

McClymonds High Schoolers learned new skills in six different areas—MIG Welding, Glass Flameworking, Blacksmithing, Glass Fusing, Leatherworking, and Ceramics. Brandon, a first-time participant in the Leatherworking class, created a set of one-of-a-kind bracelets decorated with stamps and dye. It was a class he’d been eager to take.

“Leather was my first pick,” he explained, “And Blacksmithing was my second. I’m going to come back and take that one next.”

mcclymonds classes 2021
mcclymonds classes 2021
Brandon shows off his newly-crafted leather bracelets.

The majority of students were exploring the industrial arts for the first time, but Raven was a returning student in Ceramics. “I took this class a few weeks back and loved it,” she shared while glazing her mug. The excitement from participants has been a big influence in getting other McClymonds high schoolers on board, which has only increased the impact of the program for students and accompanying educators.

The Benefits of Art-Making 

Art-making at The Crucible comes with a number of benefits. Not only do students gain access to new forms of self-expression, they also create tangible connections to science and math concepts, develop new problem-solving skills, and build confidence they can take back to the classroom. 

McClymonds High School chaperones have reported increased participation and stronger relationships with students who attended Crucible classes. Youth Program Associate Samantha Espinoza shared, “If a teacher came with their students to do a class, those teachers reported getting more engagement out of those students.”

It’s also through these Taster classes that we recruit students for our summer Fuego Youth Leadership Program where they can continue building skills in a given department. Last summer, McClymonds High School students ShaRay Edwards, Edgar Salazar, and Ashala Jones all became Fuego Youth Leaders after attending free McClymonds-Crucible classes in the prior school year. As Fuegos, they created stunning final projects and built new leadership skills. They will have the opportunity to return for a second summer in 2022.

You Can Support Industrial Arts Access

Our partnership with McClymonds High School is just one of the ways we’re building community and increasing access to the industrial and fine arts for all. With your support, we can continue to ensure these types of opportunities remain accessible to youth of all backgrounds.

If 250 donors make a gift of any size before the end of the year, an anonymous donor has pledged to contribute $10,000 to our #ArtTransformsLives campaign and our goal of raising $150,000 for life-changing industrial art access. Can we count on you to reach our goal?

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