About Corey’s Kids...
Corey Maltase always loved art. “Even as a little girl I remember loving colors, crayons, paint”, she recalls. She’s also always had a fondness for Pendleton. While she’s never lived in the Round-Up City, she grew up visiting relatives frequently. “My grandparents took me to the library as a kid, and when it became the Art Center, my Grandma was so excited to show me what had been created”.
Maltase began studying art in earnest at age 12 when she had an opportunity to study with Portland artist Margarita Leon. “She and her husband offered classes in their art studio and she really awakened me to the possibility of art. She never told us what to make, there were no set rules, she never told us we couldn’t do something and helped us realize the full potential of our work.” Maltase studied for nine years under Leon’s direction. Now in her twenties, Maltase still makes art and is an advocate of the power of art to transform children’s lives.
During a visit to Pendleton last year, Maltase realized that she wanted to help children have more access to arts education and partnering with the Arts Center seemed to be a perfect fit. She established Corey’s Kids Art Fund at the Pendleton Center for the Arts. The fund provides tuition for kids 5 – 12 who would not otherwise have an opportunity to attend classes at the Center. “Having the chance to make art in a supportive environment helped me express myself creatively. Having the chance to pass on these opportunities to kids who might not have the means is important to me. It’s part of the ‘pay it forward’ way of thinking.”
Elizabeth Scheeler, Education Coordinator at the Arts Center has been working with various social service agencies to identify kids who may benefit from taking art classes. In February, kids in residence with their mothers at Eastern Oregon Alcoholism Foundation’s treatment center spent a Saturday making a range of Valentine Crafts. “This is such a great program,” Scheeler commented. “These kids just light up in class – many are so talented but just haven’t had access to materials and instruction.”
After starting the fund with her own money, Maltase is challenging other young adults to donate to the fund to keep it going. “Many of the people who support important programs are aging, and it time for people in their twenties and thirties, and even young kids, to begin incorporating charitable giving into their lives. It’s my generation that needs to step up and carry on this tradition of American life.”
“This program provides a great opportunity for parents to start a dialogue with older kids about giving, and for young adults to feel more connected to the community” said Scheeler. “We feel really privileged to be working with Corey to help carry out her dream.” Donations can be accepted in any amount at the Center Tuesday through Friday from 10 am – 4 pm and Saturdays noon to 4 pm or via mail with this printed form.