As budgets continue to tighten, more programs get cut from schools across Illinois.  In Alton, art programs have taken a hit.  The district has come up with what is known as the Mini Art class, but art advocates feel a need for more exposure to the arts.  And that is where Eric Stauffer, owner of Dark Horse Art Works in Alton, comes in. 

He has been active in bringing the work of local artists to Alton Square Mall, and is showcasing the work of Alton School Districts in Kindergarten all the way through high school through the Alton Youth Art Festival April 25-27.  He says art is just as important to a child’s education as the “Three R’s”.

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Stauffer says parent volunteers will work alongside teachers who are also volunteering their time to give students an art education.  Stauffer says you can donate supplies at drop-boxes located at Eunice Smith, Lovejoy and Horace Mann schools, or at Alton Square Mall.

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