Community Arts for Youth of Downriver is being presented by the Downriver Council for the Arts (DCA) as we have long been a leader in producing quality programming that increases knowledge, provides enjoyment, and is accessible to everyone, including our youth. We are seeking monetary support for 3 major youth programs we provide through the DCA: Summer Creative Camps, After-School Arts, and our Youth Arts Council. Funding would allow us to offer these programs at a very low or no cost to the community, employ teaching artists and take our programs further out into the 21 communities we serve. For more information, please visit downriverarts.org.
Summer Creative Camps: The Downriver Council for the Arts' summer camp program is designed to explore the exciting world of creativity through a wide range of multi-media activities. Campers work with professional art educators to produce unique and original works of art, explore diverse themes and art media, focus on the creative process, and develop their imagination and creativity - all while learning collaboration, experimentation, critical thinking, and problem solving. We hold these camps at our facility from July – August every year. Children from all over the greater Detroit area attend these camps. We provide on-site lunch care, snacks and the supplies for these camps. We are able to employ local art educators to teach these camps. Campers learn collaboration, experimentation, critical thinking, and problem solving in camps ranging from core fundamentals, like drawing and vocals, to specialized camps, such as mixed media, STEAM, fashion and weaving. We are able to provide a safe and nurturing environment while children learn everything from core skills to more advanced specialties.
After-School Arts: These classes are held after school hours at the Arts Center as a way to offer students a more in depth art education. Cognitive skills in children are developed through the arts. Art education leads to better test scores and also encourages students to put forth their best effort in other academic subjects. They participate more in other classes. By providing students with consistent enrichment activities such as music, art and other alternative ways of learning, after school art programs improve students’ social skills, gives them more confidence, creates higher educational and career aspirations, and motivates them to consistently attend school. The children in these in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities need the inspiration and creative thinking skills to have the confidence to choose a positive path in life. Quality after school programs also keep children occupied in an enriched activity, keeping them away from dangerous activities such as theft, vandalism, gang activity, and other adolescent crimes. These classes offer 4-week lessons in painting, drawing, mixed media and sculpting for 7-15 year olds. The desired result is a more engaged socially skilled, confident individual with higher educational and career aspirations, who consistently attend school. The After-School Arts program will show youth a positive creative outlet in an otherwise disadvantaged community. Another DCA project that is currently in the planning stages, involves setting up outdoor sculpture and performing garden spaces. We plan to go to all of our service cities and construct this with artists as a permanent installation for their city. Inviting the children that attend our After-School Arts program to be involved in the creation will empower them to be positive change agents in their community, beyond their classroom.
Youth Arts Council: In October of 2017, the DCA was accepted into the Youth Driven Space Initiative presented by Neutral Zone in Ann Arbor. This initiative provides free training and support for arts-based organizations across Michigan to build a youth advisory council and help them empower youth in new leadership roles. The DCA Youth Council is a newly established group of young artists (teens and pre-teens) from around the Downriver community who are dedicated to promoting and participating in the visual and performing arts. Their mission is to grow and nurture a community of local budding artists, as well as to give young people a safe, wholesome, and beneficial environment to express themselves in. The goal is not only to recruit and retain members to our organization, but to encourage young people to explore and expose themselves to art in all its various shapes and forms. Many of the youth in the community do not otherwise have access to a gallery space, or a venue, or the tools and equipment they need to advance their creative talents. We want to attract teens from a diverse ethnic and cultural background so all of the youth involved at the DCA can benefit from a variety of art forms. We hope that by providing them the resources they need to thrive, they in turn will continue to be active participants and contributors to the arts and culture of the Downriver area. Support for this program will allow us to offer a stipend to a young leader while also gaining real world leadership experience in retaining and engaging young artists in our area. They will be able to engage the teens and plan events throughout the year to keep the integrity of the group going.
We thank you for taking the time to read about our plans for Community Arts for Youth of Downriver. We appreciate your understanding and support, embracing the idea that healthy communities include access to arts, entertainment, and culture.