Art teacher provides venue to practice creative expression

R Polly Photo

Rebekah Polloy owner of Artivities

Springfield, MO—As Springfield continues to grow, new businesses are planting their seeds in the community in hopes they will also grow with it.

Spare time and money is something that a lot of people don’t have, especially with the rising costs of housing, amenities and bill pay but, nevertheless, people are consistently trying to find and do new things.

While many people do yoga or simply go to see a movie, others are trying to branch out and find other ways to express themselves. While not as popular as other hobbies, creating art is becoming the popular in African American communities.

From dancing to poetry to film, creative expression is becoming a part of the culture and this time, it looks like it will stay. Art is another way that people are beginning to express themselves.

It was the summer of 2014 when Rebekah Polly, an art teacher, decided that she would help people with that choice of expression with her creation of Artivities.

“Well, I’ve been in art education for 12 years,” said Polly. “When I had the opportunity to start this business, I thought it would be best if I tried to find ways to get the community involved in art.”

With a dream of creative expression at a young age, Polly knew exactly what she wanted to do by the time she graduated high school.

Earning her Bachelor’s in Art Education was only the beginning of her life as an artist.

While still in her undergrad at Southwest Baptist in Bolivar, Polly didn’t shy away from opportunities of experience. Polly, teaching for six seasons, traveled to Maine as she worked as Fine Arts Director at a summer camp in Maine.

After graduating, she chose to stay in Missouri, working in Monett for six years and eventually moving her career to Ozark High School.

It was soon after that she decided that she wanted to make an impact on Springfield.

“Springfield is not known for a lot of culture or healthy creative entertainment,” Polly said. “I just felt like if I was going to be here, this [Artivities] is something that I can do that will add to something that I really believe in.”

Polly’s hope is to create healthy educational environments for people of all ages.

While focusing on the health benefits of creative expression, Polly also hopes to create a bridge between educational skills and low income areas.

“By opening on the north side, I felt like I was being a benefit to start serving a lower income area,” Polly said. “I felt like the arts serve people in low income areas quite well by teaching skills and communication and things like that.”

Artivities also designs events for birthdays and baby showers among other events.

Regular classes range from $7.99 for children to $35.

To keep up with Artivities and their other events, follow them on Facebook at Artivities or Instagram at @artivities_studio.