HCN News & Notes

Multimedia Art Event for Children Offered at Mill 180 Park

EASTHAMPTON — Happy oOps, a multimedia art event designed to teach children to learn through the acceptance of mistakes, will be held on Saturday, April 21 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Mill 180 Park, located at 180 Pleasant St., Suite 217, Easthampton. Happy oOps combines literacy and art to bring a creative experience to children ages 6 to 12, with the April 21 event marking the first in a series of events for families in the region.

The art experience is offered in part by Johnny Miranda, the principal of two businesses in Chicopee with intertwining missions. Miranda is the president of the Institute of Abilities, which offers coaching, consulting, and mentoring services to job seekers, including those with physical and intellectual disabilities. Miranda also operates oOps!: an Art Experience, which offers art classes for adults at venues around the region as well as in his studio space, housed in the same building (274 Exchange St. in Chicopee) as the Institute of Abilities.  The businesses dovetail as individuals Miranda meets through the Institute of Abilities are often excellent job candidates for oOps!: an Art Experience.

“oOps allow us to hire individuals with the Institute of Abilities and give them their first opportunity to be in the workforce,” Miranda said, noting the oOps staff clean brushes, organize canvases, set up for art events, and work alongside him. 

In offering Happy oOps, Miranda is partnering with Amy Green Carter, an elementary-school visual-arts teacher since 2006 and the author of the children’s book Happy Accidents, which teaches children to embrace their mistakes. Green Carter was the Massachusetts Art Education Assoc. Elementary Art Teacher of the Year in 2017.

“We have the same mindset about embracing mistakes,” Miranda said. “We partner to bring to kids an experience that involves reading a book to them and then offering a guided art experience, in which they create their own mixed-media art.”

The cost to participate in Happy oOps is $25 per child. To register or learn about upcoming Happy oOps programs, including those that are offered at no cost to children living in area shelters, visit www.oopsartexperience.com.

oOps!: an Art Experience offers weekly art nights every Friday at 7 p.m. in the studio, as well as events on local college campuses.

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