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August Exhibit • Community invited to see teens' photos, reporting of city's HeARTS initiative

Arts Angle Vantage invites you to celebrate the teens who took photographs and reported on the Louisville Metro HeARTS initiative as part of our Community Arts Reporting Project. Come and view their photos and reporting. The HeARTS initiative received support from Fund for the Arts and Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation. The celebration includes an exhibit of the teens’ photos and other reporting.

Brayden West, Central High School's class of 2024, reported on the HeARTS theater workshop Brandi LaShay of Redline Performing Arts facilitated at the Molly Leonard Portland Community Center. Photo by Brayden West.

Date: Saturday, Aug. 26

Time: 1 to 3 p.m.

Place: Beechmont Community Center, 205 W. Wellington Ave.

Food will be available.

In the spring and summer, teens with Arts Angle Vantage met at the South Louisville and Beechmont Community Centers to explore and discuss the role of activities that provide access and encourage people to explore their creativity and artistic expression. They also examined how these activities can connect us to each other and the wider community.

From left to right, top: Jill Marie Schierbaum of Looking for Lilith Theatre Company and artist Sara Noori. Bottom: Nicole Hayden of 50/50 Mentoring Collaborative and Ashley Cathey of The Healing Walls Project with Artemis Jones. Photos by Atremis Jones, Liberty High School class of 2025, and Devin Jordan, Central High School class of 2024.

Teens in Arts Angle Vantage had opportunities to meet with artists working in communities throughout the city as part of the initiative supported by the Fund for the Arts and Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation. The teens asked the artists questions, took photographs, and reported on the artists’ work. They discovered how these artists worked with citizens, primarily children, throughout the community, including at the following venues:

Backside Learning Center: Artist Sara Noori led multiple art-making sessions for children and adults. This independent organization provides resources and support to the Churchill Downs racetrack workers and their families.

Douglass Community Center and Option to Success Family Services: Artist Ashley Cathey and her Healing Walls Project facilitated teams of seniors at the Douglass Community Center and father-daughter teams at Option to Success Family Services to create murals.

Highview Arts Center: Jill Marie Schierbaum of Looking for Lilith Theatre Company worked with colleagues to guide youth from ages 5 through 14 in workshops that used play, improvisation, and movement to create their own stories where they were encouraged to express their thoughts and concerns and share their discoveries.

Molly Leonard Portland Community Center: Artist Brandi LaShay of Redline Performing Arts collaborated with youth to help them create an original play using music, poetry, and dance.

Shawnee Community Center: Portia White and Gwendolyn Murphy of Genesis Arts led architectural tours, visual arts sessions, and other creative endeavors as part of the workshop “My Voice, My Super Power.”

Southwick Community Center: Nicole Hayden of 50/50 Mentoring Collaborative combined art and current technologies through various activities to introduce youth to creating with high-tech tools.

Sun Valley Community Center: Visual artist Skylar Smith, who partnered with writer and artist Eric Rucker, discussed exploring often unconventional means of conveying stories with words and images.

Don'Tia Almon, 2023 Iroquois High School graduate, documented the Genesis Arts workshop “My Voice, My Super Power” led by Portia White and Gwendolyn Murphy at the Shawnee Community Center. Photos by Don'Tia Almon.

These were among almost 20 teaching artists who offered more than a dozen creative programs through the HeARTS initiative. Nearly all Metro Community Centers and other neighborhood organizations chose and hosted these programs, which included a range of disciplines, like dance, digital arts, and theater for all ages, to serve specific needs. The program also provided valuable compensation to participating artists and organizations.

HeARTS — launched in 2022 by the Mayor of Metro Louisville — partners with Fund for the Arts and Louisville Orchestra to offer programs that bring the healing power of the arts and incorporate local artists’ and organizations’ strengths to nurture unity in our community.

Visual artist Skylar Smith laughs with a child at the Beechmont Community Center. She talked about partnering with writer and artist Eric Rucker in a HeARTS workshop at Sun Valley Community Center. Photo by Artemis Jones.

Studies have documented art as a powerful tool to promote empathy, conflict resolution, and positive mental health. The HeARTS Initiative brings the healing power of the arts and incorporates local artists’ and organizations’ strengths to nurture unity in our community.

Arts Angle Vantage, which sought to document this initiative in its first year, gives youth from diverse backgrounds access to the arts and empowers them to use their voices to create public service arts journalism. An overarching goal is to nurture citizenship and build an equitable and creative community. Like the aims of HeARTS, these efforts intend to encourage community cooperation.


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