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City invests more than $175,000 in youth arts training

Our Youth Arts funding program will invest $175, 960 in 34 youth programs that offer arts training outside of school hours for Seattle’s middle and high school youth.

Thirty middle-school students at South Shore K-8 in Rainier Beach will participate in an after-school robotic arts workshop led by teaching artist Andrew Peterson who received $4,600.  With a $7,800 award Photographic Center Northwest will engage refugee and immigrant teens in literacy and language development through photography. Orion Out Loud will receive $7,000 to lead homeless youth in playwriting workshops that will culminate in one-act plays written by youth and read on stage by professional actors. The Anindo Chatterjee Institute of Tabla will receive $2,790 to lead traditional Indian tabla (a popular Indian percussion instrument) lessons for refugee and immigrant youth. Forty youth will participate in urban graffiti and music-production workshops focused on hip-hop culture, the result of a $3,300 award to Washington/Asian Pacific Islander Families Against Substance Abuse.

It’s estimated the funded projects will engage more than 5,400 youth in about 42,400 hours of arts training throughout the city from September 2012 to September 2013. The funded projects were chosen from a pool of 62 eligible applicants. The average award is $5,175.

“Arts training provides young people with positive outlets, encourages creative self expression and critical thinking and develops job and life skills,” said Vincent Kitch, director of the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs. “In today’s global economy, we must provide a complete education that includes the arts if we want our students to contribute and compete.”

Awards also include $4,400 to teaching artist Mary Coss, in partnership with traditional African artists, to engage East African youth in the creation of artwork through an examination of contemporary American life and Islamic traditions; $3,600 to Diverse Harmony to offer performance training to LGBTQ youth; $6,860 teaching artist Stephanie Guerra to offer writing instruction to kids in juvenile detention; $8,000 to Reel Grrls to teach immigrant/refugee middle-school girls animated film production; and $7,000 to Spectrum Dance Theater to offer traditional West African and Brazilian dance classes to Madrona K-8 middle-school students.

Youth Arts is an annual funding program that offers awards up to $10,000 to programs in which experienced teaching artists lead training programs in all arts disciplines, with priority placed on serving youth and communities with limited or no access to the arts.

Go here for a complete list of funded organizations and artists.