After close observation of her childhood community, All Things Art Founder, Latanya Henderson noticed young people's talents overlooked.
Latanya Henderson recognized the enormous void of programs of the arts that implemented a focus on mentors and counselors.
For these reasons, she was compelled to develop All Things Art, Inc. an intentional plan to interrupt the vicious cycle of, drugs, violence, crime, gangs, bullying, and suicide for the young people in underserved inner-city communities.
She is a patron of the arts and a humanitarian who wholeheartedly believes that the Arts can be used to combat social ills and mental maladies. All Things Art is a controlled artistic and clinical setting that provides classes of the Arts and social services to impoverished youth from the inner-city, along with young people whose parents are incarcerated or previously incarcerated.
Latanya passionately believes that deep in the underserved, inner-city communities are tons of gifted children with a plethora of talents, i.e., mathematicians, artists, great debaters, writers, inventors, computer scientists, etc...
Regretfully, however, these children’s talents are overlooked due to the many social ills and personal problems they encounter daily; foster care, criminal justice systems, parent(s) addicted and/or incarcerated, single-parent homes, and poverty. Because of such we overtly boost their self-worth, ever reminding them that they are not their circumstance or products of their environment, nor are they destine for failure.
In fact, our participants are expected to become leading thinkers who know their worth. It is proven, if young people are taught that they are valuable, they will reflect self-assured individuals who stand a better chance at becoming functioning citizens. We aim to guarantee our participants develop consequential thinking and high self-esteem, not inflated egos. We are determined to furnish them with the tools they will need to make informed decisions and stand against negative peer pressure.
We build lasting, caring relationships with each participant.
This allows us to relate to the youth and their families with a sense of sincerity and familiarity. This also helps measure program outcomes.
Our children are future world leaders, and if we do not work to make them whole in thought, deed, and spirit, they will remain broken and unable to contribute to society.
Budget pressures along with poor planning & politics stole the opportunity for a poor child to express himself, in school via the arts. This decision to remove the arts left a vacuum of proportionate measures and created a gap in achievement levels. This is why we stand against the psychosocial factors that arrest the development of our at-risk, youth.
All Things Art, Inc. intentionally interrupts the vicious cycle of gang violence, i.e. homicides, truancy, drug abuse, and criminal activities that plagues the communities of our program participants.
According to the National Endowment for the Arts, “Socially and economically disadvantaged children & teenagers who have high levels of arts engagement show more positive outcomes in a variety of areas than their low-arts-engaged peers. In-school or extracurricular programs that offer deep arts involvement may help to narrow the gap in achievement levels among the youth of high -versus- low socioeconomic status.”
All Things Art, Inc. is part of the solution. We give this under-served population access to free, creative activities that will help them develop emotionally, socially, and excel academically.
Dance, Theater, Art (painting), Fashion Design, Studio Technology
Participants meet once a month with their assigned clinician for one-hour sessions. This will help participants sort out their thoughts, recognize patterns, face fears, and set realistic goals.
A monthly group will meet according to age for participants to recognize that they share many of the same issues and concerns as their peers. This type of public identification teaches empathy, encourages them to utilize their voices, and helps to discard their belief that they are alone, and their issues are isolated.
Life Skills Workshop
These workshops will provide age-appropriate information to help participants navigate their way through life.
This component helps us to provide the wrap-around services youth need to flourish as the advocates seek services from outside agencies that participants may need. The home and school visits are in place to build relationships with the adults in their lives. The relationship(s) between the advocates and participants build trust and give evidence that they (participants) are cared for as they are learning to trust.
Tutors are available for the participants who require help.
Community Relations Initiative
Annual summer street fair-community invited to set up tables and sell their foods & crafts. A seasonal community clean-up, and community beautification projects, i.e. painted wall murals.
WHY OUR PROGRAMS
The principal advantage of our program model is 3-fold; we:
Maximize the creative potential of inner-city youth through performance base programs.
Provide clinical and academic support.
Encourage civic engagement.
Our program is designed to assist young people to grow to their fullest potential utilizing the arts and clinical professionals to do so. All free of charge.
We serve young people between the ages of 7–24 from low-income families of the Greater Boston area, chiefly Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan.
Our fields of concentration are dance (hip hop, ballet, jazz, tap), playwriting/acting, music studio production technology, visual arts (painting), introduction to fashion design, counseling, advocacy, civic engagement, academic tutoring, and support groups.
All participants are required to participate in the community relations initiatives, and they must maintain good grades and conduct in school, just as they must exhibit respect and responsibility in their homes as well.
Each participant are assigned an advocate who will be the liaison between their schools, homes, and All Things Art…in the case of poor grades and/or conduct in school or at home, consequences are in place. This is to keep participants accountable for their actions.
Since our establishment in 2020, we have had the privilege of applying the expertise of artists from Artists for Humanities, along with dance instructor(s) from the Uptown Dance Center and will launch more classes as resources avail themselves.
We have been well received by parents and young people alike. Some parents have even joined in on the art & dance classes. Nicola J. a single mom from Roxbury reports that her son Darrion loves the dance class. While Mr. Lee said his son “TJ sits at his computer an hour before the class starts afraid, he’s gonna miss something.” These small but meaningful gestures are testament to our work.
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