Hello! My name is Elisha Harteis, and I’ve been creating and teaching ceramics in the art scene in Missoula for almost a decade now. I’ve collaborated with great places like the Missoula Art Museum, Clay Studio of Missoula, the ZACC, Flagship, Lewis and Clark East Program, SPARK Arts, and more here in Missoula, MT. 

I’ve got this great idea to take my teaching to the next level by starting a non-profit called “Wheels on the Bus.” It will be a mobile art studio, but not just any studio. I am planning to convert a school bus into a ceramic studio space, complete with throwing wheels. I am working on the possibility of partnering with SPARK! Arts, MCPS, and other educational programs to get kiddos excited about clay, igniting their creativity and giving them a hands-on experience they won’t forget.

I came up with this because it breaks my heart to see arts education taking cuts in our schools and I want to provide another tool for the schools to use. This project is about nurturing imagination, critical thinking, and grit in our future generations. The importance of Art for Arts sake provides opportunities for our youth to problem solve to create their own personal vision, gain self confidence, and provide a mental health break from the strain of education. I’m aiming to run classes and residencies, focusing on Title One schools and other populations that might otherwise not have this kind of opportunity.

I have been working hard to get this program up and running and have the ambitious goal to launch this fall. Now, I’m reaching out for financial commitment or ideas of how to obtain seed funding for a project like mine. I am also looking for potential community partnerships, collaborations, and partnerships.

We are so excited to be fiscally sponsored by Arts Missoula. All donations are made to Arts Missoula and held in account for Wheels on the Bus.  Arts Missoula is a 501c3 in the State of Montana.

Thanks so much for reading about this project. I would love to tell you more about it if you have time!


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