The Art Center

Arts Leadership Academy

The students participating in this program are currently fundraising for the Art Center’s Starting with Art Initiative (stART). The State of Illinois does not currently require visual arts education for grades K-3rd. As a community-focused Art Center, we bridge that gap by supplying schools with standards-based lesson plans and art supplies that meet grade-level expectations. Teachers are given instruction from us on how to complete the lesson so that they may present the lesson to their students in their own classrooms. The Starting with Art Initiative (formerly known as smART Kids) comes at no cost to the teachers, students, or school districts.

We annually serve over 2,000 K-3rd students with this program. With appropriate funding and support from programs like the Art Leadership Academy, we intend to expand the program this year to better serve the surrounding Illinois counties (rural Adams, Pike, and Brown) and school districts outside of Quincy. This expansion should more than double our numbers by spring 2023.

Each participant in the Arts Leadership Academy has the goal of raising $500 to support the stART Initiative. You can donate to their individual campaigns by clicking the button under their name.

Meet the 2022-2023 Arts Leadership Academy Participants

Lana Almashharawi

Cecilia Bruening

Amber Carmean

Lucas Dotson

Emma Eyler

Saya Geisendorfer

Olivia Hinkamper

Andrea Lepper

Logan Meyer

Sydney Reed

Evie Schuetz

Isaac Schuetz

Alex Strong

Addison Zanger

Hear from the Arts Leadership Academy participants about why they are raising funds for The Art Center’s stART Program!

About the program: Arts Leadership Academy

Dates: September 2022 – April 2023

Location: Quincy Art Center | 1515 Jersey St

Cost: FREE

The Art Center’s new Arts Leadership Academy gives high school students the opportunity to experience the nonprofit world in a new way and prepare them for involvement in their community. Students in the program will have conversations with community leaders, learn a new artistic skill and teach that skill to younger students, and gain the fundamental building blocks for philanthropy and volunteerism. 

Created for grades 9-12, this program is open to any high school students in the tri-state area; a background in visual art is not necessary to participate. Starting in September 2022 and ending in April 2023, students will be celebrated at a party after completion of the program, and certificates will be awarded to those who have met the requirements. Prizes will also be given to the student who raises the most funds and the student who volunteers the most hours over the course of the program.

Key Elements of The Art Center’s Arts Leadership Academy


Participants will volunteer a minimum of 10 hours for The Art Center over the course of the program. Volunteer opportunities range from class assistants, event assistance, office tasks, and more! The student who volunteers the most hours between Sept. 2022 – March 2023 will be awarded a prize for their extraordinary service.

Conversations with Leaders: 

Students will hear from four leaders in the field around topics of storytelling for fundraising, volunteerism, boundaries & mental health, and authentic leadership.

Learning & teaching an artistic medium: 

Participants will get the chance to learn the basics of an artistic medium. They will then have a lesson on classroom management before having the chance to lead a K-3rd grade workshop in the same medium they’ve learned.


Students will practice the art of storytelling to fundraise for The Art Center. The funds raised by this group will benefit the stARTing with Art Initiative, which brings access to visual art to students in grades K-3 in area schools. Participants are each encouraged to raise at least $500 and the student who raises the most will be awarded the “Top Fundraiser” prize during the final celebration for the program.

Final Celebration 

Participants from the 2022-2023 Arts Leadership Academy will get to decide what they want their final celebration to look like. During the first month of the program, students will get to have a discussion about what kind of celebration they’d like to have in April 2023 when they complete the program.

Who can participate?

This program is open to all students in grades 9-12 in the tri-state area. Students DO NOT have to have a background in visual art to participate. The Art Center encourages students of all races, colors, religions, gender, gender expression, national origin (ancestry), disability, and sexual orientation, to participate in this program.

What is required of participants?

To receive a certificate of completion, students must attend and complete all of the elements listed above. If students cannot attend a conversation or lesson, make-up opportunities will be provided when requested.

Is there a cost to participate in this program?

No! This program is FREE for all high school participants in the tri-state area!

How do I sign up?

Sign-up is easy! Simply click here and fill out the registration form. An Art Center staff member will be in touch within 4 business days with more information on the program. If you have any questions or concerns about registering, please email Kelsey Deters at

Program Dates:

Please note that dates in 2023 might change slightly. All participants will be informed of any changes well in advance.

Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022 | 5 PM – 7 PM | Intro to the Arts Leadership Academy followed by Conversations with Leaders: Storytelling of Fundraising with Burgundy Hill 

Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022 | 5 PM – 6:30 PM | Conversations with Leaders: Volunteerism with Drew Quintero 

Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023 | 5 PM – 6:30 PM | Conversations with Leaders: Authentic Leadership with Debbie Read

Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023 | 1 PM – 4 PM | Art workshop & classroom management with Rachel Roundtree  

Sunday, Feb. 26 | 5 PM – 6 PM | Conversations with Leaders: Boundaries & Mental Health with Rob Cane 

Saturday, March 4 | 1 PM – 3 PM | K-3 Workshop led by Arts Leadership Academy Participants