About the Mobile Art Factory
As you probably know by now, the Winthrop Arts Art Factory is an arts education center in Riverview. We provide fine arts instruction to children, teens and adults. Fine arts such as drawing, painting, ceramics, mosaics, creative storytelling and sewing are offered. The students work on individual art projects and together to create public art pieces that are temporarily and permanently displayed around the community of Winthrop in Riverview.
The Winthrop Arts Mobile Art Factory takes this proven arts education program to children living in underserved areas such as Wimauma. We believe that art should be available to all children regardless of their socioeconomic position or where they live.
We offer classes on Wednesday afternoons to two groups of approximately 10 students in Wimauma. We have partnered with Hispanic Services Council and Wimauma Elementary School. They allow us to use their facilities. Students in elementary and middle school are eligible to attend.
The Winthrop Arts Mobile Art Factory serves children ages 5 to 18 who live in the rural areas of Hillsborough County such as Wimauma. Approximately 57% of the population living in this area has an average income of $10,000 to $40,000. The racial makeup is 72% Hispanic or Latino. 66% of the population speaks Spanish. The children who live in the area attend schools that are Title 1 schools. An equal mix of male and female students will be eligible to attend.
At the Art Factory, we teach students the language of art so that they become proficient in the arts vocabulary. We will continue this with the Mobile Art Factory. The students in the Mobile Art Factory work with professional artists and educators to create art in a studio like setting. While we offer arts education, we do not give tests or grades. Children learn about art by creating art with fellow artists.
To date, the students in the Winthrop Arts Mobile Art Factory have produced two large outdoor public art installations. The first was called “Mother Nature,” and it was installed on the fence of Reddick Elementary School. The second was created by students from Wimauma Elementary School. It was installed on a fence outside of school. For each of these, we held unveiling ceremonies and invited local dignitaries to attend the event. To date, State Senator Darryl Rouson, representatives from State Representative Mike Beltran and Adam Hattersley’s offices along with Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacy White’s office have attended.
As art programs are reduced and even eliminated in the public schools, children who live in rural and lower income areas simply do not have the resources to attend art classes outside of school. Studies have shown that children who are exposed to art instruction gain confidence, are more empathetic and develop cognitive and critical thinking skills. Studies have shown that children who participate in the arts develop complex and critical thinking skills which leads to enhanced well-being. They tend to perform better in math and reading. As a result, children do better in subjects such as reading and math.
By bringing the Mobile Art Factory directly to the children, we provide them with easy access to arts instruction. The objective of the Mobile Art Factory is to help empower children so that they can express themselves creatively. They learn to work together as a group as they create one of a kind art pieces. As a result, they become more confident and empowered which will ultimately enrich them as individuals and the community as a whole.
The Mobile Art Factory is funded by Suncoast Credit Union Foundation, Wells Fargo, generous community supporters, and the Arts Council of Hillsborough County and the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners.