Local teen launches free online art classes for youth

AM Extra

Ethan Myers launched "Virtual Artists," a summer program that offers student-run art classes

BEAVERTON, Ore. (KOIN) —  A local teen dancer is offering free online art classes to help get students back in the groove this summer.

A recent high school graduate, Ethan Myers drew up the idea for “Virtual Artists” after COVID-19 hit and halted activities for youth in the community.

“In these troubling and scary times, I want to provide free creativity and opportunities for the youth,” Meyers said.  

The Arts & Communication Magnet Academy graduate has been dancing since he was 4-years-old, and has always had a dream to open his own dance studio for at-risk-youth. With that goal in mind, Meyer created the free online program to provide students access to the arts — virtually for now. Classes are student-run and range from learning TikTok dances to studying music production.

“I want to give back to my community in any way I can,” he said.

Myers has also partnered with the local organization Planting Seeds. He says that although the classes are free, all donations given to the summer program will benefit Planting Seeds‘ Family Emergency Fund to help serve families facing eviction.

“It means a lot to me… just being able to give back and have something to do with either relief or support is a big part of me,” Ethan said. “I want to continue doing that through college and in the future.”

Myers is expected to study dance at Harvard in the fall. He’s already working with the university to promote Virtual Artist, as part of their six-week public service program called Spark.

“It’s where they help teens create community service projects in their community and help promote it through a wider audience,” Myers added.

Summer classes are scheduled to run until the end of July. For more information about Virtual Artists, click here.

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