Our process begins with the Design Committee which consists of two members per school. The Committee culls through projects submitted by local artists and selects six projects for the following school year. Each month one of these selected local artists teaches the volunteer docents their original art project. The projects are specifically selected to present a variety of mediums, a wide range of artistic influences and production methods. During the workshop, the docents are taught and create the same project that they, in turn, will teach the children. The project is then taught to students ranging in age from 4 to 14. Gateway to Art culminates the year with Art Shows at each school, with every child represented.
In the spring of 1991, several Westchester Lutheran moms (Bonnie Sadrpour, Elayna Payne, Danine Stensby and Dawn Peerson) saw the Young At Art year-end art show at Manhattan Village mall. When they read the program's press release, they realized they had been searching for a way to enhance the art education of children in their private school. They recognized that this type of program could work in the Westchester community as well.
Westchester Lutheran School contacted Young at Art (YAA) to inquire if they could join the program. YAA invited them to join their program with the understanding that they would assist in creating a similar program for our community. At that time, unknown to Westchester Lutheran, other Westchester private schools began inquiring how they might join as well. YAA encouraged this group to incubate within the YAA program for one more year so that they could organize a new group.
During the 1993-94 school year, Gateway To Art was incorporated with Escuela de Montessori, St. Anastasia School, St. Jerome School, Visitation School and Westchester Lutheran School as founding members. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our founding directors a name was chosen, by-laws were written, articles of incorporation were created, a logo was designed, job descriptions and responsibilities were finalized and a financial plan and budget were established. The Design Committee concept was established as a way to select the annual projects.
The founding board members were: Executive Director, Bonnie Sadrpour; Vice Chair, Dawn Peerson; Secretary and Treasurer Joan Worden; Design Director, Kathleen Guerra. Other original board members included Elayna Payne, Gina Bellous, Dona Rawson, Trina Smith, Danine Stensby and Estelle Harris.
Gateway to Art is a non-profit organization that depends upon the financial support of each of our member schools and other generous benefactors. Gateway to Art holds monthly board meetings during the school year and records the minutes of each meeting according to Roberts Rules of Order. It is incorporated within the State of California as a non-profit and keeps regular financial records all of which can be reviewed upon request. Gateway To Art holds elections each year within its organization and has by-laws which are kept recorded by the board secretary.