Posted by Director Michael Killoren
The arts are a powerful tool for inspiring our young people. Arts training encourages creative thinking and instills self-confidence – important ingredients for cultivating Seattle’s next generation of engaged citizens.
For this reason, I’m pleased to announce the City will invest $200,000 to help fund 31 diverse arts training projects for middle and high school youth. The grants are part of the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs’ annual Youth Arts program, which provides training outside of school hours for Seattle’s middle and high school students. Priority is placed on serving youth and communities with little or no access to the arts.
With an average award of $6,452, it’s estimated the projects will engage nearly 5,000 young people in 24,000 hours of arts training throughout the city from September 2010 to September 2011.
The dollars will reach deep into our community. A group of youth will organize community participation in a summer mural project to revitalize their neighborhood, thanks in part to an $8,000 grant awarded to El Centro de La Raza. A $3,824 grant will help expose three dozen Native-American youth to Haida tribal traditions, including lessons in carving a canoe at the Center for Wooden Boats.
With a $4,800 award, Spectrum Dance Theater will engage teens in a dance residency linking Zimbabwean history and dance tradition to hip-hop choreography and spoken word. Arts Corps will receive $8,000 to engage hundreds of young people in a variety of art forms, including the performing, visual and literary arts. This is just a sampling of the funded projects, for a complete list click here.
The Youth Arts program speaks to the spirit of Mayor Mike McGinn’s Youth and Families Initiative, which aims to create pathways for all young people in Seattle to succeed. Art provides our youth with positive outlets, helps them excel in learning and life and offers them a vehicle to connect with their communities and other cultures in a creative way.
As May is Arts Education month, I’m especially pleased to announce the City’s investment in arts training. Recently, the Mayor issued a proclamation observing the month and celebrating the contributions of arts educators.
Working together, we can ensure every student has access to a quality education and life experiences that include the arts.