FAME Artwork: Paintings and drawings by Northeast Indiana elementary students are on display in the Gallery July 17 through August 28. These paintings, collages, and drawings, by students from Fort Wayne and surrounding area elementary schools, are from the 2022-23 FAME program. 

FAME, or the Foundation for Art and Music in Education, was founded in 1986 by Southwest Allen County music teacher Dorothy Kittaka and art teacher Mike Schmid. At the time, the importance of the arts in elementary and middle school education was being questioned on both the state and national levels, meaning that funds might be better spent elsewhere. Dorothy and Mike believed that not only should art and music remain as part of elementary and middle school curriculums,  but, in addition, these programs could be enhanced by special creative activities culminating in an arts festival. Each year there would be a cultural theme, so that, over time, children would be exposed to the art and music of all the world’s major peoples. 

The main components of the FAME program are a composition project, a painting contest (The Fusion of Concert Colors), visiting artists, a fine arts summer camp, and the FAME Festival. The  March FAME Festival is held in two locations, the Grand Wayne Center in Fort Wayne and the Honeywell Center in Wabash. 

The theme for the 2022-23 FAME program was “Eastern Europe and the Balkans: Fables and Folklore.” 

Most of the paintings, collages, and drawings in this exhibit are from the Fusion of Concert Colors Contest, with students listening to Slavonic Dances, Op.6, No. 8, by Antonin Dvorak, as they worked. Several pieces from this project were chosen to be used in 2022-23 FAME publicity projects. 

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