Collaborative and creative safe spaces: the upcoming project via the Illinois Art Station
With a mission of striving to provide children, youth, and their families (from all backgrounds and neighborhoods) with transformative learning through hands-on experiences in the visual arts, the Illinois Arts Station (click HERE to visit their website) is a nonprofit making an impact i Normal, IL and the interlocking area. Given their wide-range of programming focused on self-discovery and empowerment and critical skill building, their implementation of art as a powerful force for learning an expression is not only ideal for "day-one", but for one day, let alone any day.
Hannah E. Johnson, the Executive Director of the Illinois Art Station, is among the leadership who takes on a key role with program design and implementation. including their newest project. Under the them of Creating Safe Spaces, the youth-adult collaboration incorporates multiple segments of the public service and higher education communities among others.
From June 28th through July 9th (2022), along with collaborative partners including (but not limited to) BCAI Cultural Arts and Humanities, the Western Avenue Community Center, NAACP Youth Council, Bloomington Police Department (Community Engagement Unit), the City of Bloomington, the Illinois State University Department of Psychology, and District 87 are among those who are helping with this year's project. Along with 40 young artists and mentors under the stewardship of Joel Bergner, exploring themes and sharing their understanding of safety, security, emotional and physical wellness, respect, visibility, and community (among others).
In our video chat, Johnson not only underscores her professional background in the creative and performing arts, but how it aligns with her role in leadership, along with the larger mission and purpose of the foundation (view the full interview below):
The full unveiling of the youth mural takes place at Miller Park on Saturday, July 9th, at 11am. The celebration is open to the public and includes live performances and other related programming (to be determined/announced).
This is just one of a number of means of community engagement via the Illinois Arts Station; to learn of ways to lend support (including donations), it is encouraged to visit their website (click HERE for donor/sponsor information).
The arts provide a means to tell a story, to share a narrative, to encourage creative thought and energy, and provide the stimulus needed for constructive action. Leading up to July 9th, the Illinois Art Station, combined with its collaborative team, is doing so for youth and the larger community.
It's time to create.