PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It was a special night at the Mattress Factory Museum of Contemporary Art, where some students put ten months of their hard work and creativity on display.

“Amazing Grace” was played on this homemade guitar. The instrument put together with everyday items like pencils.

It was just one of many on display at the Mattress Factory.

All of the colorful and creative artwork is from 700 students attending Propel’s 10 afterschool programs.

“At Propel, they believe in taking art and making it at the forefront of what we do, excited to see all the families that are here, the community that’s involved, and all the people that have come to support the event,” Propel Tech Coordinator Kim Moses said.

Thursday’s event gave the students a chance to show off their masterpieces.

“We made puppets at our school for afterschool, it took us about two months,” Propel student Madison Sloan said.

“It was fun and I liked coloring and decorating the guitar and putting the strings on it and being able to tune it,” Propel student Aanyssa Hallisey said.

The students were honored for their efforts and while the focus has been on art, the kids also learned life lessons.

“If you don’t have enough money to buy your own guitar, then you could just make one. It’ll still be able to be played,” Hallisey said.

“It’s about trying new things. Propel gives you new experiences that other schools really don’t,” Sloan said.

“What we do is say we want to give you all the tools to make the best decisions to be the best person you can be,” Sloan said.

Propel leaders say art education is proven to translate to academic success, no matter race or economics.

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