Sunday, September 13, 2009

"The Arts As Prevention"

In 1983, when I arrived to settle in Wilmington, one of my first and most lasting observance was the sign at the entrance to a park in my new communitiy, which read, "Welcome to Wilmington...A Place to Be Somebody." After 26 years, I still feel that Wilmington is indeed "A Place to Be Somebody." Since 2001, I have collaborated with the "Stop the Violence Coalition." In my many workshops with young children, we participated in art activities. Most memorable, was a project in which I worked with over 40 children in the Tubman Garret Park, to paint a Banner, which we titled, "A Peaceful World Begins With Me." Many studies indicate that children who are involved in the arts at an early age, are less likely to be involved in violence and crimes.There is an ongoing need to provide a forum to engage children and adults on the street corners, in the arts. I am issuing the challenge to the NWAA, of which I recently became a member, to plan community projects in the Arts, to involve 'At Promise Youth" City youth. It should be noted that the term "At Risk Youth" is obsolete. They are not at risk, but "at promise." It is the "society" that places them at risk, by not engaging them in creative activities. It is my goal to see a program titled "The Arts As Prevention" come ALIVE in the City of Wilmington. We can do it! I already created a painting on the title "Arts As Prevention."
Eunice LaFate

1 comment:

Ron Longsdorf said...

This comment really ties into our current exhibition at NWAA - All For One (Photographs 1977-2009) by Peter Capano. Peter grew up in a gang area of Philadelphia and for 10 years was involved in a gang, however art and Photography pulled him away from that lifestyle and into a life a being a photographer and a teacher of photography to kids. Really shows the power of art.