See Childrens’ Films for Free

Interested in discovering your artistic side? The Greenbelt Association for Visual Arts (GAVA) is a great place for an artistic education as they offer various classes for children ages 8-18. GAVA was first founded in 1997 by Barbra Simmons and offers painting classes, comic book classes, and animation classes in the Greenbelt Art Center. Scholarships are available for children above the age of eight.

GAVA offers classes throughout the week to different kinds of students and has partnered with the nonprofit Pathways Organization to provide classes for special needs children twice a week. With all these classes, the children need a place to display their art. Every Labor Day weekend GAVA has their largest art show of the year where they present artists of all ages in a large variety of categories. This past Labor Day was a huge success and many children received ribbons and prizes for their work.

Coming up this month, as part of the Greenbelt 12th annual Utopian Film Festival, GAVA will present short animated films created by children taking GAVA’s animated film class. The Mr. Geo Animation event will be October 23 from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Greenbelt Arts Center, 123 Centerway, Greenbelt.  This free event will feature four children’s films as well as the 75th anniversary film which the Greenbelt Community Foundation (GCF) helped fund in 2012. The anniversary film features the work of over 30 children and adults over the span of two years and first premiered at the Academy 8 Beltway Plaza Theater in 2013. You can find all of these films posted on the Greenbelt Access Television YouTube channel.

Although the program is currently running smoothly, animation teacher George Kochell hopes to be able to eventually expand into 3D animation and stop motion with a little more funding. Furthermore, GAVA gives back to the community by providing arts enrichment classes to the youth of Greenbelt. If you are interested in signing up for an art class be sure to look out for postings in the Greenbelt listserv or ads in future issues of the Greenbelt News Review.

Sponsored by Paradyme Management, Beltway Plaza, and Greenbelt News Review, the GAVA Mr. Geo Animated film series is part of Explore Your Greenbelt, a series of events celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Greenbelt Community Foundation through the programs it has funded. Don’t miss these free and fun films on October 23 from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Greenbelt Arts Center and the opportunity to learn about how GCF lives out its mission of “nourishing all of Greenbelt’s Neighborhoods”.