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Inklings News

Teens rediscover the Westport Arts Center

Teens+rediscover+the+Westport+Arts+Center

Early in the spring, Westport residents driving along Riverside Avenue may see a line of about 20 third graders filing into the Westport Arts Center [WAC]. Unfortunately, for some students, this classic elementary school field trip was the last time they visited WAC.

“Many teens are surprised by the amount of resources we have available to them,” Lindsay Heffernan, the Education Manager for WAC, who sports artsy black rimmed glasses, said.

From volunteer opportunities to various events and lectures, WAC provides a place for any teenager who has an interest in art.

“I was given a chance to dip my toes into my passion for teaching through my love for art at WAC,” Claire Tetenbaum ’18, who spent two days a week at WAC during her junior year, said.

Angie Parmar ’16, who volunteered there last summer, said that WAC gave her the chance to be a sort of fly on the wall observing staff members full of “real characters” do what they love.

The staff members are not the only passionate ones at WAC. According to Katherine Coogan ’17, the young kids she got to work with over the summer were equally passionate about their artwork whether it be Dali inspired watercolor elephants or pinch-pots.

WAC is now in the process of unveiling a new Teen Advisory Council, which would give students in the area yet another opportunity to work with WAC in a leadership role.

Heffernan emphasized that WAC has always enjoyed working with Staples students, describing them as “very knowledgeable about the arts.”

Parmar said she learned about much more than just art during her time there. In fact before volunteering at WAC she had no idea how to operate a non-digital phone. The staff at WAC walked her through the process though. “We all laughed that day,” Parmar said.

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About the Contributor
Claire Dinshaw, Editor
It may have been a visceral feeling that instigated Claire Dinshaw ’17 to apply for a sports editor position her sophomore year, however, she refers to the moment she submitted her application as, “one of the best decisions [She] has made in high school.” Journalism for Dinshaw has always been a part of her life. Her mother was actually an active participant in the journalism industry where she worked for Vogue Magazine before moving to sales. Despite having relations to journalism prior to high school, Dinshaw had instilled that she “was one of those kids who thought that she would never do what their parents do. I’m going to do something completely different” she said. Swaying towards science and math courses, joining Introduction to Journalism seemed like a “fun elective” because she had “room to add one more class to [her] schedule.” Coming out of Introduction to Journalism, Dinshaw was still not set on joining the Inklings staff. That is, until her application got accepted and she earned her role as the sports editor. “A week after joining Advanced Journalism I knew I had made the right decision and I instantly loved it” Dinshaw said. When she isn’t working as a news editor in her second year on the paper, Dinshaw can be found at Dance Dimensions in Norwalk where she has been dancing since she was three years old. For Dinshaw, journalism connects not only to the English department, but also with the ability to collect information and put that information into “organized cohesive thoughts.” These skills may not relate to her favorite course, science, but from journalism she has developed “life skills that [she] will carry beyond the classroom.”