Who Is City Art Space
Why Are We Asking For Your Donation?
Since 2016, City Art Space (CAS) has been committed to providing Harrisburg youth, ages 10 - 16, with hands-on opportunities to develop their personal, social and academic success through greater exposure to the arts and literacy. Our 7-10 week instructional, artist led after-school workshops provide students with a safe space to explore and express themselves creatively through writing, producing, recording and performing socially conscious, age-appropriate music!
Here at City Art Space, art is not the destination, but instead the vehicle through which we develop a generation of bold, critical thinkers, destined to become leaders in their community. We aim to provide sustainable, holistic services aimed at increasing each participant’s personal, professional and social success, but we cannot accomplish this without your support!
We are launching this campaign in hopes that you will support us in providing continued programming and support to Harrisburg City youth for the 2018-2019 academic school year and summer sessions!
Developing Conscious, Confident Leaders,
By Any Creative Means Necessary!
And, by any creative means necessary, we mean that through art and literacy, we are intentionally,
Expanding the cognition, creativity and communication skills of our youth
Fostering the development of healthy self-reflection, self-expression and self-esteem
Aiding in the development of healthy coping mechanisms and conflict resolution
Curating a safe space for exploration, evolution and creative expression
One of our most memorable moments of artistic expression was premiering our Summer 2016 program during TEDx Harrisburg. CAS youth performed songs from the mixtape they wrote, recorded and helped to produce. You can listen here and here)!
In addition to exciting events like TEDx Harrisburg, CAS maintains partnerships with local schools and organizations such as the Camp Curtin Academy, Star City Community Center and most recently, The LGBT Center of Harrisburg in conjunction with Dickinson College. These partnerships assist with our mission to:
Encourage responsible and positive leadership within the community
Ensure that our youth have access to the varied educational experiences and vocational skills required to thrive in the modern workplace
Provide a positive and safe social space for youth during their out-of-school time, thereby reducing contact with the juvenile and criminal system
CAS programming has been incredibly successful in developing young leaders and helping them to avoid system involvement, precisely because we understand the community that we serve, and the challenges the young people are facing.
Why Are Programs Like City Art Space Vital?
Here’s some data on the need for such after-school programs, and the dangers that youth face in the absence of such opportunities:
By providing students with consistent enrichment activities such as music, art and other alternative ways of learning, after-school programs improve students’ social skills and confidence. In turn, participants relate to the world with more awareness, openness and understanding which then positively impacts their families, schools, and communities. (EduCare Foundation, 2011).
Research has proven that violent juvenile crime triples during the hours from 3:00 to 6:00 PM, and it is during these same hours that children face the most serious danger of becoming victims of crime. (Vandell, D.L, Afterschool Program Quality and Student Outcomes: Reflections on Positive Key Findings on Learning and Development From Recent Research, University of California, Irvine, Collaborative Communications Group, Inc., 2013)
Today, the percentage of juveniles of color arrested for curfew or loitering has gone from 53.6% in 2001 to 75.3% (Pennsylvania State Police, Uniform Crime Report,2014).
High quality after-school programs such as City Art Space can play a pivotal role in reducing the amount of youth crime in our area by giving young people a safe place to express themselves, creatively resolve conflict, and productively engage with role models and peers.
After-school programs have a particularly strong impact on youth struggling with academic performance and social interactions. Low-income teenagers who participated in an after-school program in several cities across the United States were more likely to be high school graduates (63%) compared to non-participants (42%) and more likely to go to postsecondary schools (42%) compared to non-participants (16%). (Smink, Jay., A Proven Solution for Dropout Prevention: Expanded Learning Opportunities, Collaborative Communications Group, 2013.)
Why Do We Need Your Support?
CAS is a very distinct program, uniquely situated to meet the varied needs of Harrisburg area youth. Instead of focusing primarily on “top-performing” youth, or exclusively on young people involved in the system, CAS sees the potential and invests in every young person, meeting each of them where they are and helping them get to where they need to be. Our motto, Create Your Space, has always been an intentional statement for the work we started over two years ago. It acknowledges that no cookie-cutter approach will work for every young person; we must instead provide individual attention, tailored services, and support each young person in carving out their own unique place in our program, and the world.
Our financial goal of $25,000 will allow us to continue running tailored, robust programming from Aug 2018 - Aug 2019. This funding will allow us the financial independence to reach even more young people, particularly those in underfunded neighborhoods, schools and programs, at no cost to that family, district or institution.
Your donation, no matter the amount, will assist a young person in creating their space!
Who Is The City Art Space Team?
-Amanda Carter, Educator/Songwriter and Recording Artist/Executive Director, City Art Space
“I am a proud Harrisburg native and educator in the Harrisburg School District. I grew up immersed in the arts here in Harrisburg; I spent my entire childhood in classical ballet, theater, piano and painting courses. I developed a fascination with language early on—foreign language and artistic use of language—especially as it pertains to songwriting. I went on to study French and Business Administration at Howard University, a Historically Black College in Washington, DC. I then earned my Juris Doctor from The George Washington University Law School in 2010. Upon graduation from law school, I took an unconventional path and pursued a career as an independent artist—songwriting, performing and acting. In the past six years, I have been featured in various films and web series. I have performed across the United States and in international venues—most notably, Paris, France. I have collaborated with other artists from as far as the African continent and my content has been aired on networks as popular as MTV. My album is currently ranked among the Top 10 albums on college radio charts, and additional projects are in production. While developing my art, I returned to my hometown to provide support, empowerment and opportunity to the youth of Harrisburg City. As an educator and a mentor, I have been constantly inspired by incredible students, parents, faculty and administration. But most importantly, I have been able to express myself, and inspire our youth to do the same. As Executive Director of City Art Space, it is my goal to help our city’s youth cultivate their dreams, and their communities. Our motto: Create Your Space.”
–Dr. Karen Wright, Former Principal, Educator in the Harrisburg School District, Organization Mentor
“I’ve been an educator for 31 years. Eighteen years as a teacher, 6, 7 and 8th grades; four years as an assistant principal,PreK-8; Nine years as a principal, PreK-6, PreK-4, and 5-8 middle school. I have had many experiences working with students at various grade levels.”
– Susan Agyeman, LPC/ Psychotherapist/ Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Susan is the owner/therapist at Akoma Healing Center, a mental health private practice in the Harrisburg area. “A great deal of my work experience has focused on ensuring the healthy emotional development of children and adolescents. As a Board member of City Art Space, I contribute ideas that promote childhood mental health, provide successful program evaluation, and ensure that each of the programs offered by C.A.S. and their staff are aware of mental health red flags of the participants.”
– Simóne J. Banks, MFA Candidate in Creative Writing at Louisiana State University
It all started with a vision: to create more opportunities for the people of my community to experience visual art, culture and music all in one place. With a history of participating in arts and cultural programming while growing up in Harrisburg, my background in visual art management, writing and event production during college and my professional career will contribute to the mission of CAS by encouraging students to craft and execute their creative interests without fear as a mentor.
– Shannon Cumberbatch is Attorney and Director of Hiring, Diversity & Community Engagement at The Bronx Defenders, as well as Supervising Professor of The Bronx Defenders Holistic Defense Externship at Columbia Law
“As a Harrisburg native and graduate of Harrisburg School District, I know first-hand the myriad of challenges that Harrisburg City youth face, and am committed to helping each young person realize their full potential. As a board member of CAS, I will couple my personal experience with my professional leadership in public service law and community engagement to develop tailored, socially-conscious programming and opportunities for young people to transform their lives and community through art and activism."
-Maia Warren, Pennsylvania Lottery, Revenue Research Analyst II
My lifelong passion has been to pour back into the community that has educated, nurtured and pushed me to reach my full potential. As a board member for City Art Space (CAS), I plan to use my experience in marketing, public relations and advertising to establish, build, and maintain relationships with community stakeholders to promote programs and initiatives of CAS. Additionally, I will assist in identifying the most effective communications strategies to promote CAS, while raising and maintaining awareness of the organization on a long-term basis.
– Kareem Warren, Personal Income Tax Supervisor/Songwriter and Recording Artist
I have years of experience in both the music business and the PA Department of Revenue in the Personal Income Tax Division. I hold a degree in Economics from Villanova University. I worked directly with our Executive Director and the youth during City Art Space’s eight week pilot.
Thank you for contributing to our campaign!