Art & Soul: The Visual Arts - Connecting Community With Art Through The A2 Public School District

Jan 14, 2021

Ann Arbor Public Schools Art Collage
Credit Jenna Bacalor / Ann Arbor Public Schools

This week, "Art and Soul" is about the visual arts.  Lisa Barry and state and local arts leader Omari Rush talk with Jenna Bacolor, executive director of Ann Arbor Public Schools Community Division, about the many community arts opportunities provided by the "Rec and Ed" department in the school district.

Ann Arbor Public Schools Community Division executive director Jenna Bacalor
Credit Ann Arbor Public Schools /

Ann Arbor's Recration & Education, or "Rec & Ed," program has been serving the community at large for many years.  The program's executive director, Jenna Bacalor, states its mission is to promote health and well-being among Ann Arbor residents and promote the idea of "lifelong learning."

Yet, like many educational programs across the state of Michigan and the country, Red & Ed had to make some serious adjustments, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many of Rec & Ed's special classes, including its art classes, went virtual.  For example, instructors for the watercolor painting courses starting posting "How To" videos online and started conducting their classes online via Zoom.  As of now, all winter classes will be virtual, but Bacalor hopes to reintroduce in-person, outdoor art classes in the spring.

Ann Arbor students working on art projects
Credit Jenna Bacalor / Ann Arbor Public Schools

If you'd like to enroll in any winter art courses, go to  Most classes will require an strong, online connection at home, but paint kits and other necessary equipment can be mailed to your home.


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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at