Editor's note: This story is advertorial content that is part of the 2021 "Essential to Jamestown" special edition of The Jamestown Sun. The annual Progress Edition features stories on essential workers, agencies and businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Artist in Residence program offered through The Arts Center impacts Jamestown students and the community, said Angela Martini, advertising and PR manager.

Since 1984, The Arts Center has brought in a professional and teaching artist to reside in Jamestown, share his or her talents with the community and accept teaching opportunities in the local elementary schools.

“The Artist in Residence is a wonderful experience for our students and our teachers,” said Robert Lech, superintendent of Jamestown Public Schools. “It provides a trained and experienced artist to guide our students in fine arts to provide them another outlet for personal enjoyment and to express themselves. For our teachers, it is an opportunity to watch an artist teach these various skills and learn how it can be incorporated during other classroom times.”

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Linda Roesch has been the artist in residence since 2018, teaching elementary students in Jamestown Public Schools and St. John’s Academy.

Roesch has also made herself available to the community, Martini said, whether live painting at local events, painting pet portraits for people, creating murals for businesses and residents and teaching at the University of Jamestown.

Roesch said being the artist in residence for several years has given her an opportunity to see the students grow.

“It’s just been extra special to be able to watch those kids be able to grow up and kind of hone in their different skills and their styles .. and to work with them every year,” she said. “That for me has been a really moving experience.”

Roesch said the kids love art and even though this year the learning occurred through Zoom, it has been fun for the students. What they learn in art can apply to other studies and facets of their lives, she said.

“.. a comment I heard from principals (before), after art lessons the kids just do better in all their other classes too,” Roesch said. “They’re more focused, they’re more upbeat and … it definitely helps in other areas of education as well. ... I think it’s just really good that Jamestown does have this option and that the Arts Center has been doing it so long and that the schools are very willing to work with me.”

The Artist in Residence program is partially funded by the North Dakota Council on the Arts, Jamestown PTA groups and Jamestown Public Schools.