February 28th, 2011

Above, take a peek at the photos from the annual “Step Up to the Plate” Fundraiser for Arts Kids,  a youth development program using expressive arts and group techniques to serve at-risk youth. Gallery MAR was very proud to help sponsor this event, which was heads above their previous years’. Delicious food from 8 Park City chefs and dessert from the head pastry chef at the Montage Deer Valley made for a delightful and delicious evening. Fine Art Consultant Jennifer Carr (who volunteers as their Event Coordinator) was key to the success of the evening’s fund raising performance.

A little history on the program:

Arts-Kids Has Served 4000 Children Since 1999. Arts-Kids was founded in 1999 at two schools in Park City, Utah, by Pat Drewry Sanger, an Advanced Practice Psychiatric-Mental Health Registered Nurse and Child/Adolescent Specialist.

The inspiration for the program came from her early work in Norfolk, Virginia. She noticed that children growing up in tough inner city environments began to become hardened and emotionally shut down by age nine or ten. Parents were often too burned-out from their efforts to survive. They had no energy to support their children on an emotional level.

She transferred that learning to develop an initial program, using the expressive arts and group techniques to create a joyful environment for self-expression. The program grew over the years to help children cope with the inevitable social problems kids encounter at school – teasing, bullying, feelings of low self esteem – and to help students with behavioral challenges such as ADHD, autism and Asperger’s.

The purposes of Arts Kids is as follows:

  • To build communication, problem solving, listening and social skills.
  • Foster confidence and self-esteem.
  • Provide a non-competitive, creative environment.
  • Promote empathy among diverse populations, ages 8-17.
  • Build positive relationships with adult role models.
  • Balance individuality with a sense of global community.
  • Use the creative part of brain to enhance intellect.
  • Be a joyful place to experience the freedom of self.