Art Portfolio Teacher Grants an Extension to Strike Back at Government Funding Cuts

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(–July 12, 2013) Guelph, ON– High school grads now have a greater chance to be prepared for college this fall when they tell their tales of triumph and detail how they managed to get accepted into the toughest arts programs with 30:1 odds. Portprep shifted the deadline from Independence Day to July 22nd so that they could provide the missing links in public arts education to more students.

The best post-secondary art and design programs attract between 1000 to 5000 thousand applicants each year while accepted only 50-200 students. Only the best and most prepared students gain admittance to the programs that offer the best training and the highest job placement rates.

With budget cuts to arts education in the public school system it makes it nearly impossible for publicly educated students to make the cut. PortPrep, an art portfolio coaching company was formed to help fill in the gaps left by secondary school boards, by teaching students not only what to include in their portfolios but also how to create and present the art works.

Portprep launched The Beating the Odds, Stories of Student Success Video Blog Contest earlier this summer in an effort to bring more awareness to the challenges that face our young people with arts college admissions. Its founder Karen Kesteloot wants to prepare more students by giving away free art education not only to the winner but to all the contestants.

In a blog post Karen said, “In my experience in teaching at one of Canada’s leading arts colleges, I found that, although only the best students get accepted, about a third of them lacked a few fundamental skills in observing and drawing what they saw accurately.” The best programs are not just tough to get into but tough to prevail in and avoid failing out or burning out.

With this occurring in Canadian colleges where arts education still exists in the secondary schools, it points to the even more pronounced gaps in American education. In recent years US arts programs have been slashed and stripped to a mere skeleton of what they once were, leaving most students disadvantaged compared to privately educated students. Kesteloot wants to help students by providing missing skills via her Beating the Odds Video contest.

She asks parents and educators to spread the word so our youth can take advantage of this opportunity for improvement and preparedness. Michigan University corroborates Kesteloot’s stance saying in a report about funding cuts,

“It is up to the parents and art educators to make sure that children receive instruction in order to become innovative and intelligent beings…Budget makers and politicians see math and reading as the gold standard of education, but fail to see the enormous benefits of art education. Therefore, it is important that parents become advocates for the art education of their children.”

To learn more about the contest parents and students can read about it at and download the contest guidelines by going to the blog entry Tell Us How You Got Accepted in an Art Program and following the link for the pdf.

Written and researched by Christopher Jan Benitez, Senior Writer for

PortPrep Studios, Karen Kesteloot

275 Woolwich St, Guelph, ON, Canada