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The Avalon Foundation Keeps Visual & Performing Arts Education Alive for Talbot County Children

The Avalon Foundation is known for its highly visible programs like the Avalon Theatre and Stoltz Listening Room, the weekly Farmers Market, and Plein Air Easton. Yet the often-untold story of the Avalon Foundation is about its significant work to improving access to arts education–in our local classrooms, in our Theatre, and on the streets of Easton.

Among pockets of affluence, many of the approximately 4,500 students who currently attend Talbot County Public Schools live with very limited resources. In fact, at our community school, Easton Elementary, 7 out of 10 kids in every classroom may not be getting enough to eat. 67% of the school’s students are minorities and nearly 20% of the students require some level of ESL (English as a second language) services. With the deck stacked heavily against so many kids, access to the arts is limited even though the impact of arts experiences can be life changing. Scores of studies have shown that children who participate in arts education have higher math and reading scores, better critical thinking skills, are more confident, are more collaborative and empathetic toward others, and are less likely to drop out of school.

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