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Comics for Change coming soon

Hamilton, Ohio – The Fitton Center renews its long-standing partnership with Cincinnati-based SOS Art via a new – and free - summer class in comic book art.

Comics for Change: A Digital Drawing Class - open to ages 10 to 14 - runs weekly at 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Mondays from June 5 to Aug. 7.

SOS – short for Save Our Souls – uses art to explore ideas of peace and justice and inspires discussion about difficult social issues. Comics for Change looks specifically at tolerance.

“This class is a little bit different,” said Kate Rowekamp, Fitton Center Director of Education. “The ones we’ve done in the past have been six weeks; the one we’re doing now is 10 weeks. This course will also be different in that we’re creating digital art with SOS for the first time.

“SOS provides the peace and justice component of the curriculum and we address that, along with teaching the different art techniques. Digital drawing is similar to pencil or pen drawing, but there are some different tools and techniques to learn, too. The technology is different.”

The Fitton Center received a donation of 10 refurbished iPads from NetJets at the end of 2022 for the purpose of creating digital art.

“We’re definitely getting a plan together for how to best use those and integrate them into our offerings,” Rowekamp said. “This is a great step.”

Another difference? Comics for Change features an international angle.

“Our students will partner with students from Prague in the Czech Republic and each group will create a comic book,” Rowekamp said. “SOS will publish the two comics and each of the students will receive a copy of the printed work.”

So will a lot of others. SOS plans to distribute the books both in Southwestern Ohio and the Czech Republic.

Rowekamp enjoys the partnership with SOS.

“It’s important because it’s an accessible way to reach our audience,” Rowekamp said. “Once you kind of get them in the door with the comics, the art helps illuminate the issues they’ll be discussing. It gives the kids tools to deal with some challenging conversations and shows there are a lot of different ways to address difficult subjects directly.”

Sarah Hynfield – recently selected as a 2023 StreeSpark artist – teaches the class at the Fitton Center. The class addresses tolerance through visual storytelling. Students learn about issues surrounding the theme of tolerance, discuss their own concerns and experiences with tolerance and synthesize their ideas to craft a story.

From a technical standpoint, students learn to design characters, map out their stories with sequential art and use digital drawing techniques to create artwork for their collaborative comic books.

Comics for Change is limited to 10 students; click here to register.

The Fitton Center for Creative Arts is located at 101 S. Monument Avenue on the Riverfront in downtown Hamilton, Ohio.

Building Community Excellence through the Arts and Culture

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