At the Strand Center for the Arts in downtown Plattsburgh, one public relations class behind the campaign behind the organization’s Day of Art this Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. 

The Day of Art is designed to bring children and families together through the arts and their potential creativity. The Strand currently offers classes for youth and adults in drawing, pottery, photography, theater and dance for all community members. 

“We gathered a bunch of research about the Strand and [we found] they were experiencing some membership problems,” said senior public relations major and journalism and marketing minor Kyle Barall. “We took on that role and decided to create an event so their brand could become more aware in the community.”

Event coordinator and senior hotel restaurant tourism management major Valerie Smith commends the PR Campaign Planning and Development course for their cooperative class dynamic.  

The students said their professor, Maiko Barcomb, picked the Strand as their client.

“I like giving students practical experience where they engage in the community,” Barcomb said in a press release. “We tried to structure the class to be as close as possible to working in a real PR firm. Helping the community in terms of arts educations and children is an a bonus because they’re things I care about.”

Student media relations manager and senior PR major Taylor Richardson feels the class is the most interactive in the PR department. 

 “This is the class where it all comes together,” Richardson said. 

Eight booths will give children and their families the opportunity to be creative with crafts like face painting, making balloon animals and creating paper-bag puppets. Tickets are $5 per child to cover the cost of materials, free ice cream and raffle tickets for each visitor.

“A lot of what we do is [picturing] what the event looks like, what problems might come up and what you need to have showing up to the Day of Art,” Richardson said. 

PSUC senior PR major Victoria Dowers hopes the Day of Art will allow the kids to have a stronger interest in arts education. 

 “It helps them be more creative,” Dowers said. “Art can build future leaders.”

Although the Strand coordinators are expecting a turn-out of roughly 100 people, Smith said the students are only anticipating half. 

Although the campaign is designed to give the students professional experience, Dowers thinks the event is a chance to bring more people downtown, to visit the Strand and revitalize downtown Plattsburgh. 

“It’ll be nice to have the Plattsburgh community connect more,” Dowers said. 

“It’s finally nice to be able to work with the community as a student,” Smith said. “It’s really the only chance I’ve gotten to work with them,”

As a result of the Day of Art, Richardson hopes to raise awareness about the arts education through the children of Plattsburgh. 

 “Art opportunities aren’t very fruitful all the time [for children],” Richardson said. “I just hope kids do show up.”

Email Emma Vallelunga at fuse@cardinalpointsonline.com

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