901 Arts contributes to a “Better Waverly”
October 07, 2014
When Sarah Tooley, director at 901 Arts began planning for her 2013 Summer Arts and Music Experience (SAME) program, she wanted to address two challenges: 1) lack of economic opportunities for the teens in her neighborhood in Better Waverly and 2) the lack of affordable supervised activities available within walking distance for younger children in the community. The SAME program provided her with solutions for both. SAME provided 34 2nd to 12th graders with age appropriate art and music education. In addition, it offered six-week summer jobs for 14 neighborhood high school students, a focused on using their artistic skills to complete a neighborhood beautification project.
The teen program ran six weeks, five days a week and five hours a day and focused on artistic skill building, event planning, and community service and job readiness. The teens hosted WAVEscape, a community arts festival (a play on Artscape), beautifying, de-cluttering and cleaning the 901 Arts building and weeding, watering and harvesting the local community vegetable, fruit, flower and herb garden. They also participated in resume writing sessions, mock job interviews and financial literacy training.
“The grant we received from BCF’s Neighborhood Grant Program provided the funding to create and implement the SAME programming,” said Ms. Tooley. “An important project the teens were able to complete was to paint the concrete barriers in the neighborhood park, which had become an eyesore, with a new vibrant mural that they designed and executed with the help of the community.”