Wednesday, May 29th, 2024

Check Out These Free Arts Workshops to Help Our Community & Artists During COVID-19

Above: Julia Jordan-Kamanda performs in MU’s Art to Heart series.

Millersville University has launched five free online workshops featuring local professional teaching artists, providing income for our local creatives while offering much needed free arts experiences for the children, adults, and senior citizens in our region. Selected artists are paid to develop these workshops through a fund called “Art to Heart,” established by Millersville University. The project was the brainchild of Marci Nelligan, Director of South Central PaARTners at MU, Lancaster City Council President Ismail Smith-Wade-El,  and Barry Kornhauser, Assistant Director of Campus and Community Engagement to address the impact of the COVID-19 situation for local artists and to ensure continued access to the arts for all community members.

Art to Heart’s fundraising and program initiatives will continue throughout the spring, including an expanded, ongoing series of these free workshops while also building an emergency Artist Relief Fund providing small grants to local artists cut-off from their sources of livelihood during this time of crisis. The first five Art to Heart workshops were designed to offer a range of genres aimed at a wide audience. They include:

  • Evita Colon: Award-winning poet, founder and CEO of Speak to my Soul will offer a vibrant, hands-on poetry/spoken word workshop for participants 10 years to adult.  
  • Julia Jordan-Kamanda: Singer/songwriter, children’s book author, music mentor, and owner of J3 Music Studios, brings us a joyful, musical workshop that blends story and song, engaging kids from ages 3 to 8.
  • Solise Kharisma, CCO: Choreographer and dancer of Speak to My Souloffers inventive ways to shake things up in her creative movement workshop for kids and adults.
  • Anita Pilkerton-Plumb: Social worker, teacher, MU alum, and artist offers a wonderful way to process this difficult time through the arts with her “Collage a Memory Box” workshop, good for all ages.  Hold mementos, special thoughts, and records of this historical moment in your own repurposed box of memories.
  • Jennifer Tarr: MU graduate, beloved Arts Smarts teacher, and art teacher at Bermudian Springs Middle School. Jen’s workshop, “Art in the Kitchen” is an imaginative take on the whole idea of paint, using common kitchen goods like coffee, spices, Kool-Aid, and veggies as materials for producing beautiful works of art. Great for kids and adults, and especially coffee lovers. 

The workshops will be available to the public on an ongoing basis at on MU’s YouTube channel and is also available here.

Those wishing to contribute to the Art to Heart fund should contact Alice McMurry, Associate Vice President for Advancement at  Artists interested in teaching workshops should email

Want to donate to Art to Heart?

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