A place where kids can be creative

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - November 10, 2011

The Fairmount Art Center opened a few years ago, joined recently by the Queen Village Art Center.

Owner Jill Markovitz is a stickler for allowing creativity to flow. So while a child as young as age two might be given a crayon, marker or paint brush and supervised, he or she will never hear an instructor say "You can't do that."

Whether the medium is a piece of paper, canvas or sculpting clay, whatever the student creates is accepted.

The result is free expression that builds confidence and self-esteem. As experts in other fields like music have observed, this expression builds "tracks" in the mind that order thinking.

The result is that students tend to learn non-artistic subjects better. Grades in math, science and English tend to go up.

Markovitz's art centers offer a variety of programs. Most popular are six-week courses. Some are geared to children of a specific age. Others, mostly for adults, focus on a particular medium or skill.

Some adult classes "build", taking the student from one level straight to the next. But there are other programs for as little as a day.

Markovitz plans to offer drop-off programs on days when

schools close for inclement weather, so parents aren't caught without an educational opportunity.

The staff is fully trained in art and in dealing with children.

The Fairmount Art Center is located at 2501 Olive Street.

The Queen Village Art Center is at 514 Bainbridge Street, a block below the South Street corridor.

Both offer morning, afternoon, after-school and evening programs seven days a week.

The schools share a common phone number, 215-765-ARTS. You'll find them online at Philly Art Center.

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