In the Loop
Student Stories : Jan 27, 2016

Arts students help the next generation through Project Makeover

By Abigail Friedman

“Project Makeover is a student-run nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a more dynamic learning environment for Alachua County elementary students,” explains Megan Arthur, the 2016 executive director of Project Makeover. The Project Makeover team, made up of approximately 60 students, raises money and plans all year to “makeover” a school in Alachua County. This year’s makeover school is Rawlings Elementary. During the weekend of February 20, 2016, the Project Makeover team along with more than 1,000 volunteers will spend three days painting murals, overhauling the landscape and creating unique spaces for Rawlings Elementary students.

Rawlings Elementary is a fine arts elementary school, which makes this an extra special project for College of the Arts students who are involved such as sophomore Francesca Levy (BA Art Education) and senior Adrienne Johnson (BFA Graphic Design). Both Levy and Johnson are executive members of the Project Makeover team.

“Project Makeover is a great way to tie together my major, the arts community and service to Gainesville,” says Johnson. Levy, who was fortunate enough to have a fantastic and formative arts education growing up, adds “With all the arts education budgets constantly be defunded it is up to us to show the school and the students that we care and that arts education is invaluable.”

The Project Makeover team is also excited to makeover a fine arts school. “We have more freedom in our design rather than being tied to the traditional educational murals such as solar systems and math equations,” says Arthur. The involvement of arts students from UF is a great example of the arts community helping the next generation of artists and creative thinkers.

For more information on Project Makeover, follow them on Facebook. To learn more about volunteering with Project Makeover as an individual or with an organization, visit