It's VANdemonium as Intermedia Arts raises funds for a new van. Help youth access art! Support Youth. Support Art. Support VANdemonium!
Intermedia Arts’ youth programs serve approximately 2,000 teens in grades 7 – 12 each year. A recent survey showed that 67% of our youth come from economically disadvantaged homes. The youth programs at Intermedia Arts not only provide free and low cost access to artistic experiences for at-risk youth, but also give them the skills and tools they need to become positive catalysts for change within their community. Through the creation of visual, literary, performance, and media art, youth express their unique ideas and dreams for a better future. A new van will allow Intermedia Arts to bring this vital programming to more young people.
In 2010, Intermedia Arts had to retire its old van; after nearly ten years of transporting youth to and from programming, the cost of maintenance became more than Intermedia Arts could afford. Since the loss of this van, many youth participants are no longer able to attend programming due to lack of transportation. Most of the participants’ parents either work during the day or don’t own a car and many youth do not feel comfortable using public transportation because of real or perceived safety issues.
Not only would a new van allow for more youth participation, Intermedia Arts youth programs staff also attest to the positive affects of personally transporting youth. During the ride to and from programming, staff get to know the participants better as individuals, have more regular contact with their families, and gain a deeper understanding of each participants’ unique home situation. This allows the youth programs staff to better serve these youth and tailor the programs to their individual needs.
Additionally, Intermedia Arts would utilize a new van within the programs. The community is a central part of the artistic process within the youth programs; routinely, youth engage neighborhood residents and organizations to learn more about important issues in the community (such as interviewing employees at the local water treatment plant), gain a better understanding of public opinion on various topics (such as on-the-street interviews about homelessness), and share information about local resources with other youth in the community (such as local organizations helping low income youth gain admittance to college). Through its many years of youth programming, Intermedia Arts has found that bringing youth to these locations (as opposed to having people come to Intermedia Arts) greatly increases learning and retention. Once at a community location, youth are much more likely to utilize it as a resource, having already made an initial connection. Having a new van would make getting to and accessing these community resources a much more regular part of the programming and would greatly enhance the experience for the youth.
"All teens that want to should be able to engage in art and the community, even if they don't have transportation of their own: a van makes that possible." - Alexa, 16
"Art changes everything. Art is everywhere, and we want to see it all. Help us get there!" - Jahlie, 18
Please help us meet our goal of $30,000 so that we can serve more young people!