What We Do
- Empowerment and Self-expression: Engaging in creative arts activities, such as painting, music, dance, or writing, can provide individuals with a means to express themselves authentically and safely. This expression can lead to a greater sense of empowerment, self-awareness, and self-esteem, reducing the feelings of hopelessness and depression. Our current programmatic line-up intentionally deals with these areas.
- Catharsis and Healing: Artistic expression can serve as a therapeutic tool, allowing individuals to process and release emotions that may be difficult to express verbally. This process of catharsis can be particularly beneficial for those who have experienced trauma or adverse life circumstances. We have found through our Teen Summit workshops that so much of the lack of communication has to do with trauma and hurt.
- Sense of Community and Belonging: Creative arts programs can foster a sense of belonging and community among participants. Feeling connected to others who share similar interests and experiences can reduce feelings of isolation and alienation, which are often associated with depression and violence.
- Skill Development and Education: The arts provide an opportunity for individuals to acquire new skills and knowledge, leading to increased confidence and a sense of purpose. Skill development through creative arts can open doors to new opportunities and potential career paths, reducing the likelihood of engaging in violent behavior due to limited prospects. This is why we seek the best teachers, dancers, artists to engage with our targeted youth to understand excellence and elegance in the arts. Both our “Art that Binds” event and our signature Dance Show highlight his point.
- Conflict Resolution and Emotional Regulation: Engaging in artistic practices can teach valuable skills in conflict resolution and emotional regulation. As individuals learn to channel their emotions constructively through the arts, they may be less likely to resort to violence as a means of coping with stress or frustration. We have found our Teen Summit to be the incubator for these discussions amongst young people.
- Positive Role Models and Mentoring: Creative arts programs often involve interaction with mentors and instructors who serve as positive role models. These relationships can provide guidance and support, helping young people make positive choices and develop a more optimistic outlook on life.
- Community Engagement and Social Impact: Art can be a powerful tool for raising awareness about social issues and advocating for change. Creative projects that address topics like violence, mental health, and community well-being can have a positive impact by fostering dialogue and inspiring collective action.
- Prevention and Early Intervention: By providing creative arts programs to young individuals in at-risk communities, we can offer a preventative and early intervention approach. Engaging young people in positive activities can divert them from negative influences and behaviors associated with depression and violence.