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Arts office announces nearly $350K investment in youth arts opportunities

The Office of Arts & Culture, through its Youth Arts funding program and Work Readiness Arts Program (WRAP), will invest $346,000 in more than 40 youth programs offering arts training outside of school hours for Seattle’s middle- and high-school aged youth. Youth Arts focuses awards on experienced teaching artists leading programs in all arts disciplines, with priority placed on serving youth and communities with limited or no access to the arts, while WRAP is a collaboration with the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative (SYVPI) that provides programming that links arts learning and work experiences for Seattle youth ages 12 to 18. Both programs are part of a larger initiative to invest in youth development through the arts from the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.

Select programs from WRAP include the Urban Youth Chess Club’s Anti-Violence Project, in which a coalition of activists, leaders, former gang members and Seattle Police Officers work together on skills training that includes role playing, acting, journaling and poetry to South East Seattle youth; and the Hendrix Music Academy, a multi-discipline, intensive music program teaching youth how to collaborate, write, record and perform music.

Funded Youth Arts programs include Arts Corps, offeringsessions in music, poetry and dance with students organizing outreach, performance and event management; Urban Wilderness Project, in which youth engage audiences as environmental artists and performers through intensive workshops and sessions, culminating with a video chapbook and public performance; Jack Straw Foundation, offering hands-on, multiarts workshops to create audio pieces;and Young Shakespeare Workshop featureing public performances throughout the city.

It’s estimated the Youth Arts 2015 funded projects will engage more than 2,700 youth in over 38,000 hours of arts training throughout the school year. WRAP projects will serve youth in the central and south neighborhoods of Seattle who have been recruited through the SYVPI program and will link arts learning in the areas of design, media arts, visual and public art, storytelling and traditional crafts with the development of interpersonal, leadership and 21st century skills to boost academic, vocational and workplace success.

For a complete list of funded organizations and artists, visit:

Youth Arts: