Miami, meet Saige Copeland– a young artist and arts advocate who is inspiring girls nation-wide to do their part to keep the arts alive in their communities. Because Miami has such a vibrant art community, I would not be surprised if many readers (especially those with children) are already familiar with Saige. However for those who are not yet familiar with this creative young artist, I will let you in on an interesting fact: she is a doll.
Saige Copeland was released as American Girl’s eleventh annual Girl of the Year doll on January 1, 2013. The Saige doll has long auburn hair, bright blue eyes, and comes wearing a Southwest inspired turquoise dress with faux leather boots, and silver jewelry. Additionally, American Girl Co. has come out with a line of products for the doll which can be purchased separately including an arts activity book titled: Express Yourself, an array of artsy outfits and accessories, two books written by Jessie Haas: Saige (which is included with the doll) and Saige Paints the Sky. Saige is the perfect doll for adult arts enthusiasts and collectors and young artists alike. Saige is truly a collection worthy doll with artisan details (such as the asymmetrical freckles dusted across her cheeks) and because she is made of vinyl she is also very playable. The Saige stories are well-written and inspiring, while addressing issues such as the importance of seeing projects through to completion, the value of consistent practice, and the necessity of stepping into the role of a leader to champion a cause. The names of famous artists are sprinkled throughout the books and it is likely that these references, along with a brief nod to Malcolm Gladwell’s 1000 hour rule as explained in Outliers will lead to conversations about the history of art and the contributions that great artists have made to society as a result of their work, and the importance of preserving the arts for future generations in the form of supporting arts organizations and artists alike.
According to an American Girl Co. representative, “To support Saige’s message of preserving the arts program in U.S. Schools, American Girl is sponsoring a school grant contest and partnering with Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education. American Girl’s ‘Shine On Now’ charitable initiative will provide financial support to the organization’s Arts Education Program, which will provide arts education professionals with information, materials, and resources they need to enrich student experiences with the arts.”
According to an American Girl Co. representative, “When budget cuts take away art class at school…Saige draws on her talents, mobilizes others, and takes action to improve the world around her.” Although these are the actions of a fictional character, with the help of a School Arts Grant for up to $10,000 provided by American Girl Co., accomplishing this herculean task is actually well within the realm of possibility for a young school-aged artist.
For those arts enthusiasts who are actively paying attention to the Miami Dade Public Schools Vacation Calendar, it should not come as a surprise that today is the first day of spring break. This is the perfect opportunity to encourage a child to color a hot air balloon for the Soar with Saige Sweepstakes which ends on April 1, 2013 (http://www.americangirl.com/play/girl-of-the-year/saige/soar.php) or brainstorm ideas for a class project in order to participate in the Elevate the Arts Grant Contest which ends on May 31, 2013 (http://www.americangirl.com/play/girl-of-the-year/saige/elevate.php). Also, for those who are planning on adding Saige to their collection, she can be purchased at the American Girl website (http://store.americangirl.com/agshop/static/saigedoll.jsp) or at the American Girl Store in Miami on March 28th at 4:00 PM and take part in Saige’s Scavenger Hunt where girls will have the opportunity to meet new friends, go on a scavenger hunt, and get a free limited edition Saige poster.
Written by: Waverley Chmura