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Port Chester Arts Council Opens Literacy Gallery

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. - The Port Chester Council for the Arts (PCCFA) hosted an opening reception for its Literacy Through the Arts (LTA) art exhibit on Thursday evening at the school district's administrative wing inside Port Chester Middle School.

The gallery, which opens to the public on Friday, displays the art of LTA instructors Mai Kong, Grace Mora, and Brigitte Loritz. Literacy Through the Arts will celebrate its 15th anniversary this year, and is a program that offers students K-5 a diverse artistic experience.

The program, which employs 15 to 20 professional artists, is a partnership between the PCCFA and the school district. According to PCCFA Board President Anne Brady, the program is committed to encouraging a child's natural enthusiasm for the arts, to enhance language skills through artist interaction, and to introduce children to a variety of artists, world views, and cultures.

"It's wonderful to share my experience and knowledge with the students," Instructor and artist Grace Mora said. "I have fun every day I'm with them and I learn just as much from them as they learn from me."

Mora, a resident of Port Chester, was born in Ecuador and has lived in the United States for over 20 years. Mora cites her own family's nurturing attitude as a big part in her personal artistic life.

Like Mora, watercolor teacher Brigitte Loritz is also from outside the United States. Born and educated in Switzerland, Loritz was one of the driving forces behind the program when it began a decade and a half ago.

"They inspire me," Loritz said regarding the students. "I started teaching the basics, but they love it when I teach them my medium, which is water color."

Port Chester mom Jennifer Carriero-Dominguez had nothing but good things to say about Loritz and the LTA program.

"She is really an inspiration to the students," Carriero-Dominguez said. "She opens up their world."

Carriero-Dominguez was on hand with her two daughters Jane and Gwen as a show of appreciation for all that Loritz and the members of the LTA have done for them.

The night ended with remarks from both board president Anne Brady and director of cirriculum instruction for the Port Chester school district Carlos Sanchez.

"The district would like to thank the PCCFA for everything they've done," Sanchez said. "They are our art program, and they have a huge impact on our children."

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