Art In Place 2020

2020 - SSAF made a $5,000 donation to each of Sandy Springs middle schools to fund their most pressing art needs including software, microphones, instrument storage space, workbooks, and supplies. The project is called “Art in Place”, and was designed to interest students staying home during the “Shelter in Place” policy combatting the spread of COVID-19.


Art has the ability to uplift and transform. It is with this in mind, SSAF approached Sandy Springs’ two middle schools (RCMS and SSCMS) with the concept of the students participating in an art contest highlighting this ability to inspire and express perspectives. Over 380 students in total submitted a video describing their art product or performance and why the submission showcased both their feelings and use of their art in difficult times.


The contest was run separately and concurrently at both schools. Samples of performances have been placed on the Facebook pages of both schools and SSAF to further engage the community. We hope it reminds us all of the importance of public/private partnerships.


The below are the three finalists, in no particular order, from Ridgeview Charter Middle School. Each so aptly expressed how art affects their lives and brings them fulfillment.


  • Ellie Ryan – 7th Grade

  • Lexie Rothman – 7th Grade

  • Trey Daniels – 7th Grade


At Sandy Springs Charter Middle School, the first, second, third place winners and honorable mentions are below. For this contest, each student performed and spoke of why they chose their piece for the contest.


  • Gold – Maralgua Davaadali – Violin, 8th Grade

  • Silver - Joanna Speck – Piano, 8th Grade

  • Bronze – Marianna Villareal – Voice, 7th Grade

  • Honorable mention goes to Rhianna Minot – 8th Grade, Arianna Shultz – 6th Grade, and Ravshan Ibraginav – 7th Grade


Each school honored these submissions with a certificate and congratulations were made to all!


The high response rate is a testament to how important the power of art is to students and reflects the effectiveness of the relationships between the children and their art teachers. Art and art education are especially crucial during a child’s middle school years. In many cases, the eighth grade is a student’s last formal training in the arts. Consequently, we have to make art time COUNT.


Helping to keep students in school and creating an energized learning environment are important reasons to highlight the arts. But the advantages do not stop there. Implementing a powerful arts curriculum for middle school students increases self-confidence and creativity, improves communications skills and positively affects academic achievement.


Moreover, art helps a student understand the greater world and the role they play in it. It deepens both self and cultural understanding.