CFADA Members Donate Much-Needed Art Supplies to Struggling High Schools

In celebration of the National Art Advocacy Day and to support struggling local public high schools, the Charleston Fine Art Dealers’ Association (CFADA) will donate over $18,000 to eleven public high schools located in Charleston County.

Each of the following high schools participated in CFADA’s High School Art Competition and receives a gift certificate from Artists & Craftsman Supplies. The participating schools are Academic Magnet High School, Burke High School, Charleston County School of the Arts, Clark Academy, Garrett Academy of Technology, James Island Charter High School, North Charleston High School, R.B. Stall High School, St. John High School, Wando High School and West Ashley High School.

Funds were raised at the association’s Tenth Fine Art Annual during a live auction sponsored by the Charleston Art Auction on Saturday, November 8, 2008. Each year, renowned artists from across the nation travel to Charleston to participate in the fundraiser.

“Every year, the donation from CFADA’s auction doubles to triples my standard art supply budget,” says Dona Dowling, art teacher at St. John’s High School. “This is an amazing gift. It allows me to teach with quality supplies and equipment, which means that my students have a higher quality experience. They are exploring more printmaking and sculptural techniques than would ever have been possible otherwise. We are now able to frame artworks, and partner with several businesses and organizations to have the students’ artwork viewed publicly.”

Some art teachers at local high schools have very little or no budget for supplies and equipment and students are charged a lab fee. In Title I schools such as St. John’s High School, a $25.00 lab fee is impossible for some families, and could stop a student from taking an art class.

“Adolescence is such a turbulent time. The self-expression, conceptual thinking and open imagination allowed in art classes encourages our next generation to think independently and creatively,” says Mrs. Dowling. According to the National Arts Education Initiative, students involved in the arts perform better in reading, social studies and math compared to their peers. Research also indicates that students involved with the arts are more likely to succeed in school and their professional careers as arts education strengthens students problem solving and critical thinking skills. Founded in 1999, the Charleston

Fine Art Dealers’ Association is the source of fine art in the South and consists of the city’s most prominent galleries. The association promotes Charleston as a fine art destination for talented artists, passionate art enthusiasts and avid collectors. Since 2000, CFADA has donated more than $200,000 to local high schools and arts’ organizations. For more information on CFADA, please visit

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