The Arts

Linking Art Through Transformative Programming

The Links support of the arts can be traced to our cultured co-founder Margaret Hawkins. Her innate artistic talent, discovered at a young age, earned her a four-year scholarship to the Womens School of Design, later known as the Moore Institute of Art. Her passion for creative expression later led to her appointment as an art teacher and helped give root to the establishment of The Arts facet in 1964 at the 14th National Assembly.

Throughout the nation today, Links chapters partner with museums, symphonies, arts councils, educational institutes, and corporations to support art programs, especially where there is a focus on artists of color. Links are creating and supporting opportunities for educating minority youth in the arts and presenting and supporting performances by youth and accomplished professional artists in a diversity of disciplines.

The goal of The Arts Facet is to produce and support programs to enrich the quality of life of our youth and communities through educational and engaging art experiences while Transforming Communities, Fulfilling Our Purpose. Our programming includes arts integration within our chapters and partnerships with like-minded organizations, sowing the seed of creativity deeper in our community. The following are the programmatic interests for The Arts.

Adopted as the signature program of The Arts facet at the 2008 National Assembly, Classics Through the Ages focuses on increasing the interest, knowledge, and participation of youth of African descent in the classical arts. This exciting initiative seeks to afford exemplary student artists opportunities to hone their talents and skills and earn recognition and support for their educational and career pursuits.

Classics Through the Ages is an innovative dual mentoring program where chapters, in conjunction with artistic partners, mentor promising student artists, who in turn mentor their peers. A key to program success is the development of artistic and community partnerships, which optimize impact for promising students in a selected arts discipline (e.g., visual arts, performing arts or humanities). Artistic partners provide students with formal training, performance or exhibition opportunities, and an annual master class led by a professional artist in their area of interest. In return the student artists lead interactive learning sessions for selected peers less familiar with the chosen arts discipline. Community youth see the passion student artists have, sparking the potential of art in their lives.

National Poster Art Competition

The National Poster Art Competition was created in 1995 in conjunction with The Links, Incorporateds national walk-a-thon. The competitions theme has traditionally had a health-related focus and sought to depict healthy, energetic, and active lifestyles. The 2019- 2020 competition broadens the health focus by adopting the theme Transforming Communities by Making Health a Habit. Students incorporated sub-themes including, but not limited to, a healthy and clean environment, a bully-free world, and an inclusive and diverse society as elements related to healthy and happy communities.

Young Masters Writers Project

The Young Master Writers Program Competition (YMWP) promotes participation, pride, and achievement in creative writing among high school students of African ancestry. In todays culture of short-hand communication, YMWP aims to recognize the vital role of writing in society by encouraging young people to channel their experiences, observations, fears, and hopes into works of expressive, original prose and poetry. Chapters of The Links, Incorporated partner with schools, libraries, nonprofits, and other organizations to seek out and mentor interested students in their communities. The unique voices of competition entrants shed light on their lives, covering topics such as bullying, heritage, love, community, history, pop culture, and politics.