As schools scrape for funding, art programs are often left scrambling to supply students with materials. JiveOne5even is trying to make sure this isn’t the case in Lansing.
On March 21, the company presented the Lansing District Board of Education a check for more than $8,900 to assist elementary art programs.
The organizers of the event, Paul Vetne, Marcus Cottom and Kim Zibbell, preach the importance of art to young minds.
“I’m an artist, that’s what I do for a profession,” said Vetne. “It’s kinda something I think about all the time. It’s a way of life for me. I’m thankful I had that inspiration as a young person.”
In five years, over $30,000 has been raised at the Love Lansing parties. All this was born because of a group of friends who simply wanted to make a difference.
“We were talking about our own art experience as kids in school,” said Zibbell. “Marcus, being in Lansing, had a very different experience than I did growing up in a more affluent community in southeast Michigan. Paul was raised by two artist parents and had lots of different exposure to art. With their T-shirt business and liking to be involved in parties, we were trying to figure out what we could do to make art better for Lansing students.”
On its website, JiveOne5even acknowledges their T-shirt company along with other creative elements in Lansing might not exist without elementary art.
“We all appreciate art,” said Cottom. “We all want to see it stay in schools and stay an important part of education.”