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Volume 26, Number 2 — February 2019

Rising Star Awards presented to two Abingdon arts organizations

October 27, 2015

Virginians for the Arts, in partnership with the Dominion Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dominion Resources Inc., has announced two local winners of the annual Dominion ArtStars Awards William King Museum of Art's Van Gogh Outreach Program and Barter Theatre's Project REAL.

William King Museum of Art's Van Gogh Outreach Program received the regional Shining Star award with a cash prize of $5,000. The program takes art instruction directly to second-grade students in 12 school districts in Southwest Virginia, reaching 156 classrooms and provides more than 12,000 contact hours.

Sixteen third-grade classrooms in Russell County were added in 2014 serving 322 students. The district has more than 12,000 children under the age of 17 living in poverty and over 50 percent of the enrolled schoolage children participate in free or reduced lunch. Van Gogh's hands-on activities and lessons are based on the Virginia Standards of Learning in history, social studies and math. By incorporating mapping, direct observations and measuring into many projects the program is STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) oriented.

Also in Abingdon, Barter Theatre's Project REAL is the winner of a Rising Star award, with a cash prize of $1,000. Project REAL Reinforcing Education through Artistic Learning uses theatre techniques to bring core subject matter such as math, science, technology and literature to life for students to make them real.

Since its beginning in 2012, Project REAL has served more than 4,000 students at eight schools in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee. Pre- and post-tests show an average gain of 33 percent in English, 37 percent in science and 40 percent in math, and schools consistently report greater student engagement and better attendance after REAL.

The 2015 awards celebrate arts and education in the community, recognizing arts organizations that best demonstrate and advance the synergy of arts and education.

Topics: Achievements