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Arts: The Arts Bus Project


Published July 1, 2011 at 4:00 a.m.

You might think kids would groan at the sight of a school bus in July, but not when it's full of art supplies. The Arts Bus got rolling recently on its second summer tour to seven Vermont communities. Last summer 1900 children climbed aboard, and organizers have doubled the length of the 2011 season. Donated by a retired driver in memory of his music-teacher wife, the bright-green Arts Bus has been gutted and refitted with café-table art stations, supply cubbies, books, a circular seating area and a hydraulic fold-out stage in back. The focus is on simple projects that kids and families can re-create and reconstruct at home, or in childcare. The Chandler Center for the Arts and other Randolph-area organizations collaborate to bring this free service to rural families. Funding comes through seed money, grants and donations. Director Cynthia Sandusky says the program's popularity comes from handing the reins, or in this case the paintbrushes, over to the kids. "They get to do it," she says. "That's what's really exciting to them, their own self-expression." New this year, the Arts Bus Project is offering creativity training for childcare providers. The project hopes to raise money for a second, smaller bus to allow year-round mobile art.

The Arts Bus Project: Visits Randolph, Braintree, Brookfield, Bethel, Chelsea, Tunbridge and Williamstown this summer and early fall. Info,

This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.