On January 15, Boston Children’s Chorus and Art Reach at Provincetown Art Association and Museum were honored at the MA State House for winning the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. There, Cat Van Buren of Harwich, MA, spoke eloquently about the role an out-of-school arts program plays in her life.
Hi I’m Cat Van Buren. I’m a sophomore at Harwich High School on Cape Cod and I attend the Art Reach Program at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum… Going to Art Reach every Wednesday and Saturday are the highlights of my week because they allow me to take a little step back from school and other work that I have to do and focus on having fun and doing what I love. It’s a welcomed break from stressing. …
Cape Cod is just the small, flexing arm of Massachusetts and yet it holds a treasure trove of hidden talents, artists, and interests. Going to Art Reach allowed me to meet and befriend people I would not have met without this program “reaching” to us all. … It so surprising and comforting to know how many people on the Cape share my interests.
I am so happy I can go to Art Reach every week and do what I love. Drawing is my outlet for my imagination. If I could not do that I have no clue what I would do! Art Reach allows me to practice my trade and be with people that share my interests. It is an escape for young artists!
I think youth art programs are one of the most beneficial things that could be placed anywhere. Art Reach as one of them gives a creative and productive outlet to the students in it while allowing the feeling of social communion and acceptance. Art programs are a place to belong. It allows students to explore and express themselves in the world of art. With Art Reach I have definitely learned that art is what I want to do for my career. Learning about different materials and computer programs and utilizing them. I belong at Art Reach. There, I feel like nothing can get to me; everyone is just doing things they enjoy, swapping stories, and sharing techniques. It’s great. I am so glad I learned about Art Reach because without it I think I would just be bored, to put it plainly. Bored.
Without Art Reach I think my life would be black and white, but with it there is color!
Charge up for the new year. On January 16, 2014 Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion hosts La Lengua del Poder (The Language of Power), a showcase of young people freeing their voices through visual art, theater, music, movement, and poetry. Free. 6-9pm. Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, 85 West Newton St., Boston. Part of the YouthReach 20th anniversary celebration.
TEDxBoston’s 2013 website posed a single, provocative question: “Where do you go for inspiration in Boston?” The organizers answered their own question by turning to Artists For Humanity (AFH), commissioning the youth-driven studio to develop an innovative take on the TEDx “X”. From initial concept meetings with the client through design and final execution, the process at AFH was characteristically youth-led and professional.
Art Reach at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum and the Boston Children’s Chorus were each presented with a 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award by First Lady Michelle Obama during a ceremony in the in the White House’s East Room on November 22. The award is the nation’s highest honor for outstanding after-school and out-of-school programs.
- Art Reach at Provincetown Art Association and Museum is a free, multidisciplinary afternoon immersion program providing substantive arts and humanities education for youth aged 13 years and up.
- Boston Children’s Chorus provides intense choral training and performance opportunities in order to harness the power and joy of music to unite Greater Boston’s diverse communities and inspire social change.
Art Reach and the Boston Children’s Chorus were among 50 exemplary programs across the country selected by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) as National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards Finalists. Two other Massachusetts programs – Project STEP and True Colors: Out Youth Theater at the Theater Offensive – were also selected as finalists. In the 16-year history of the awards, 37 Massachusetts organizations have been recognized, including 21 national winners. MCC is proud to support these organizations through its YouthReach Initiative and other grant programs. Read the full press release.
Teens at Urbano are busy preparing their winter exhibition, Urban Myths + The Dream Machine, which opens December 17, 2013, 5:30-7:30 pm. This is the second exhibition of their yearlong theme, “The Emancipated City: Reimagining Boston,” and will showcase art combining video, performance, installation, and sound, all created by young artists in partnership with their teaching artist mentors. This event is free and open to the public and will take place at 284 Amory Street, Jamaica Plain.
I bought this piece last June at an amazing art show at The State House sponsored by the Mass. Department of Youth Services. (“Tommy” is an assumed name, to protect the artist’s anonymity.)
The piece drew me from across the room because it was familiar—it reminded me of so many young men I see on the T and around my neighborhood. I was also drawn by the drama of the color choices, and I was moved by the emotions revealed in those eyes. I knew I had to purchase the piece, though, when I read Tommy’s simple artist’s statement:
“I was really intimidated by this project, but I finally finished it.”
I love that I live in a state where there are art teachers within the Department of Youth Services. And I love that Tommy’s art teacher pushed him to do something really hard, and that the art teacher knew he could accomplish it, even if Tommy didn’t. And I love that Tommy stuck with it. But most of all, I love that Tommy had the courage to admit he had been intimidated.
Giving young people the opportunities and supports to succeed at things they couldn’t imagine they could accomplish—isn’t this what powerful youth development programs accomplish? And in the arts, the added benefit is that young people produce a powerful connection with others, whether they know it or not.
Tommy was able to work through his fears to create something very strong and beautiful. Now, hanging on my wall, I can look at Tommy’s work to encourage me to push through my own fears and get a difficult job done.
Thanks, Tommy, wherever you are.