National Endowment for the Arts award will support local arts integration program for girls in the juvenile justice system

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Article Author: Martha Maloney
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Northampton, MA – National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $82 million to fund local arts projects across the country in the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017. Included in this announcement is an Art Works award of $30,000 to the Collaborative for Educational Services to give girls in the juvenile justice system a voice through arts integration led by the Enchanted Circle Theater of Holyoke. The NEA received 1,728 Art Works applications and will make 1,029 grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.

“The arts reflect the vision, energy, and talent of America’s artists and arts organizations,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support organizations such as the Collaborative for Educational Services, in serving their communities by providing excellent and accessible arts experiences.”  Woody Clift, Director of DYS Education Initiative at CES, noted, ”We couldn’t be more thrilled with this grant award and the opportunities it will bring to the young women in our schools to cultivate their ideas, identity and learn to speak up and speak out for justice.”

“Arts funding changes lives and I’m glad to see this grant support our local arts programs and expand opportunities for young women to create, innovate, and grow,” said Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA). “I’m thankful for organizations like the Collaborative for Educational Services and the Enchanted Circle Theater, and proud to call them partners as we continue to work to enhance learning across our communities.”

The grant will support the Speak Up, Speak Out: Girls in the Juvenile Justice System Explore Arts and Self project.  A professional teaching artist from Enchanted Circle Theater will lead an arts integration program for teen girls in Department of Youth Services (DYS) Treatment Centers in Massachusetts. The project activities will build self-awareness, positive self-presentation skills, and artistic expression for girls in trauma and transition. The project curriculum will incorporate self-reflection to gauge artistic vision, communication skills, productivity, and motivation.

Enchanted Circle Theater (ECT) is a non-profit, educational theater company that has been engaging and enhancing learning through the arts since 1976. “Enchanted Circle is proud to partner with CES to reach into some of the hardest to reach corners of our communities and connect with young women in transition who struggle to find their potential,” said Priscilla Kane Hellweg, Executive Artistic Director, “Our arts integration programs help youth put their ideas into constructive statements and create a vision for a positive future.  We are grateful for the support from the NEA, which will help us expand our reach and deepen our impact.”

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