Last week the Interurban Center for the Arts (ICA) at Green River College raised $4,000 at its third annual fundraiser, “Painting with the Stars.”

About 60 adults and more than two dozen children attended the event which showcased art collaborations between local artists, Green River artists and community members. Dana Ralph and the Seattle Thunderbird’s Mascot Cool Bird were among the local “stars” participating. In addition, there were live art demonstrations by Dan Norman, Lela Brugger and Kent Art Commission member Michael Taskey. Children attending the event were treated to art projects and a movie.

The money raised will be used to provide support, training and monthly workshops to 600 parent volunteers who deliver monthly art lessons to 17,000 elementary school children in nine local school districts – Auburn, Enumclaw, Sumner, Tacoma, Kent, Tahoma, Puyallup, Renton and Seattle. 

“The Art Docent Program proudly places caring adults and a love for the arts into the lives of children in Kent and South King County,” said Monica Tolas of ICA.

Sixteen of the 38 participating elementary schools are in the Kent School District.

“Kent has always demonstrated a strong commitment to the visual arts within their elementary schools. I enjoy our partnership with the Kent schools and community,” added Tolas.

The ICA relies heavily on its annual “Painting with the Stars” fundraiser to raise money for general program expenses. Membership fees, paid by the individual schools, account for 16% of the cost of providing the program. The balance is covered by support from the GRC Foundation, 4Culture, other grants and private fundraising.

For more information about ICA, visit

Dana Neuts

I am a full-time freelance writer, editor, marketing pro and the publisher of