ELLICOTT CITY, MD — Before the coronavirus pandemic swept across the country, Marianne Daley delighted in providing hands-on art education programs to children ages 20 months to 14 years old in Howard County.
As educational director of Abrakadoodle, Daley offered after school enrichment at schools, preschools and community centers. She also hosted summer camps, spruced up birthday parties and held Art Splash events with adults. Then the pandemic struck.
“On March 13, my business effectively closed once schools and community centers were closed. So, after the initial panic set in, it was time to get to work and start figuring out a ‘new normal.’ We’ve been offering a free weekly challenge (#SplatDoodle) on social media. It was a way to stay connected to my families and has been really well received,” Daley told Patch. “I wanted to keep the children engaged, so I created an Amazon wish list and I have wonderful friends who purchased various art supplies for me to provide to the children who have participated. Each week, I deliver ‘Happy Mail’ to the wonderful artists who have submitted art. This challenge is open to all.”
Another way Daley has kept in touch with her clients is by offering lessons via Zoom, art supply kits and DIY project kits. She’s had a presence in Howard County since 2017, but has expanded somewhat into Anne Arundel County. She’s missed being face-to-face with her customers and the kids.
“I have always loved children and art. I was in marketing for