Edgar Fahs Smith STEAM Academy Students Present Civic-Minded Portraits

by | Apr 29, 2024

YORK, PA – Portraits created by 6th Grade students of Mrs. Amanda Mertz class at Edgar Fahs Smith STEAM Academy will be on display beginning May 3rd at Ophelia’s Making Agency, 259-263 West Market Street, York, PA. The portraits are a result of the students participation in the National Liberty Museum’s Young Heroes Outreach Program (YHOP), where students identified and used art to communicate a social issue that they feel impacts their school, their community, and their world.

The Young Heros Outreach Program is a year-long initiative which empowers students in grades 4–8 in leadership and civic engagement through critical thinking, inquiry, and project-based learning. Acting on the principle that liberty is a right to which every person is entitled, YHOP prepares students to identify gaps in liberty and supports them in making social change in their school or community.

“In our residency class we intertwined our YHOP message with our peer-portraits and our item portraits to spread our message and to gain awareness about our problems concerning the community”, 6th Grade Student at Edgar Fahs.

In collaboration with the Cultural Alliance of York’s teaching artist, Carla B. Long, students in Mrs. Mertz’ class explored both the creative process, and the social issue of choice through photography. The photography portraits on display at are the result of this interdisciplinary Arts in Education Residency.

The portraits will be displayed beginning May 3rd at Ophelia’s Making Agency, 259-263 West Market Street, York, PA. The public is invited to view the portraits on May 3rd, 10th, 17th, and 24th from 5 PM to 8 PM or by appointment only through May 28th.

A reception will be held May 10th from 6-8 PM at the Ophelia’s Making Agency, students will be present for you to hear about their project. The portraits and photos will be on display a second time during STEAM night at Edgar Fahs Smith STEAM Academy on May 23rd as a part of a mixed media piece by Mrs. Amanda Van Laar.

Support for this Arts in Education (AIE) collaboration was provided by: Cultural Alliance of York County, in regional partnership with Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, community EITC donations, and in conjunction with Penn State York & Edgar Fahs Smith STEAM Academy. Click here to learn more about AIE.

Founded as a United Arts Fund in 1999, the Cultural Alliance’s annual campaign currently supports arts organizations and artists that are essential to arts and culture in our community. Over the past 24 years invested $12.2 million in cash and $2.5 million in in-kind support for the arts. Through critical operational grants, the Cultural Alliance is the lifeline for arts and culture in York County.

For more information, call the Cultural Alliance at 717-812-9255, visit our website at www.culturalyork.org, visit the Cultural Alliance of York on Facebook, and follow @CulturalYork on Instagram.

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