Artworks like this woodcut by 2014 Ocracoke School senior Amanda Gaskins were created in the spring while the school still had art instruction as part of the curriculum.


As most Island residents are aware, recent cutbacks in state funding for public education led to the elimination of the arts education program this fall at Ocracoke School.
In an effort to continue arts programming for Ocracoke School students, Ocracoke Alive, an island nonprofit, will work with the school beginning in January to provide weekly classes for grades pre-K through 8.
“We believe that in our quickly changing society, creativity and out-of–the box thinking are some of the most critical survival tools a youngster can possess,” said David Tweedie, Ocracoke Alive president. “Fully-balanced, creative individuals can bring a fresh perspective to whatever field and path they may choose in life.”
Ocracoke Alive will contract with up to two artists per week from the Ocracoke community and from off the island beginning Jan. 27 and finishing June 4.
“The principal of Ocracoke School, Walt Padgett, and the Hyde County Superintendent, Dr. Randolph Latimore are supportive of this new collaboration,” Tweedie said.  “We appreciate their recognition of the importance of the arts in our community.  At the same time, Ocracoke Alive acknowledges that is the responsibility of the state of North Carolina to provide this valuable curriculum as part of a standard education for all levels of North Carolina’s students.”
The program is in the planning stages, and Ocracoke Alive welcomes involvement from interested citizens interested in shaping the program as well as inquiries from potential artists-in-residence who wish to find out more about teaching opportunities.
Ocracoke Alive is also welcoming sponsorships to help fund this special program.
This can be easily done through the organization’s website or through the email and phone numbers below.
For more information visit  http://www.ocracokealive.org, email info@ocracokealive.org, or call  Tweedie at 252-921-0260.

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