Duluth Depot Foundation to award scholarships for art education

Depot Foundation Development Director Jessica Peterson said she sees a need to create greater access to art education in the Northland.

Duluth Depot
The St. Louis County Depot, pictured July 7, 2017.
Bob King / File / Duluth News Tribune

DULUTH — The Depot Foundation has launched a new "Arts for All" youth scholarship program that seeks to cover tuition for all of its arts education, including classes, camps, workshops and school field trips.

Depot Foundation Development Director Jessica Peterson said the purpose of the scholarship is to increase access to younger generations interested in art education.

"With this new program, I'm hoping to explore not just paying tuition costs for kids but are there other barriers that we can help address?" Peterson said. Other barriers, Peterson said, include transportation or food.

Peterson said she hopes to alleviate the cost burden of participating in art organizations at the Depot.

The "Arts for All" scholarship program received funding from St. Luke’s and the Bretmin Charitable Foundation. Peterson said the program is just starting, so they hope to receive additional donations and support from local businesses and companies.


"I see a need here," Peterson said. "There are kids out there that want to take theater, dance, art, music lessons and they just don't have the resources and support."

Amber Burns, artistic director of The Duluth Playhouse's Family Theatre, said the new program will eliminate food, transportation and ticket costs to schools for Playhouse field trips for schools in need.

"It can be so magical for these kids," Burns said. "So the Depot Foundation providing this scholarship to schools to mitigate those barriers is really an awesome thing."

Peterson said with more donations they can provide greater coverage for art education opportunities. She added she hopes to continue to build the scholarship fund so the Depot Foundation can offer college scholarships for graduating high school students who plan to pursue a career in the arts.

This story originally listed an incorrect employment title for Jessica Peterson as well as the name of the scholarship founder. Peterson is the Depot Foundation development director. The Depot Foundation is the founder of the scholarship program. It was updated at 11:05 a.m. Jan. 14. The News Tribune regrets the error.

Abigael Smith is a former reporter for the Duluth News Tribune.
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