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User Spotlight: Stephanie Barr, Petersburg Area Arts League

Get to know Stephanie Barr, Education Coordinator with Petersburg Area Arts League

“We are in the middle of renaissance at Petersburg Area Arts League”

Tell us a little about yourself and your work.

Petersburg Area Arts League (PAAL) is a nonprofit gallery whose mission is to empower the community through the visual arts, via our three gallery art spaces and education center. As the education coordinator, I teach art classes as well as coordinate other education classes and events for PAAL. 

We are in the middle of a renaissance at PAAL — we have been able to expand our education center, create a sculpture garden and outdoor art space as well as increase the number and diversity of classes for adults and youth alike while continuing to provide high-caliber monthly exhibits. This was accomplished with support from the Cameron Foundation and the generosity of the City of Petersburg, who donated the land adjacent to PAAL’s building. 

What do you love most about your work?

I most enjoy the children’s programming PAAL offers. We strive to bring children from all walks of life in the Tri-Cities area through the doors to give them opportunities in the visual arts. Currently we offer a weekly art class to area homeschool children as well as after school art enrichment programs to student from area organizations like the YMCA and City of Petersburg Parks & Leisure. 

I am most proud of the growth of our home school program. The class has more than doubled in the last two years. We offer a new session every six weeks to allow students the fluidly to join in or take a break as their home school schedules allow. As a result, PAAL has children and families from Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Colonial Heights, and Petersburg in our facility every Thursday. 

What’s Coming Next?

Next up for PAAL is our most popular and exciting time of the year — it?s time for our summer camp programs! During the month of July, we offer four weeks of full-day programming for area youth. Working alongside area artists like Mickael Broth and Robert Cataldo, the children spend each day exploring a variety of ideas, techniques, and processes to create exciting pieces of artwork. At the end of the four weeks all of the hard work culminates in a group show that generally takes over the entire gallery and brings many people into the Old Town area.

We?d love for you to visit our gallery at 7 East Old Street in Old Town Petersburg and check us out online at www.PAALarts.org

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