California has a state-wide local resource and state grant program
called "Artists in the Schools" (I think that's the name.) Purpose is to
put local artists in touch with local kids.
We had a local sculptor, and a water colorist among others, at our
schools. The sculptor was so magnificent. She is confined to a wheelchair
and spoke primarily through me, but the kids watched her create, enthralled
and asked very interesting questions.
The water colorist presented her own work then spoke on techniques
showing some for demontstration.
I wanted to have a weaver and a jewelry maker but...maybe later.
This way (local artists) also provides local cultural
opportunities. We have Southeast Asian, Mexican, and Native American arts
and artists in this area. This is part of the goal of the "Artists in the
I hope you consider "going local".