Arts Classes Empower Youth Through Creativity

New Hope Clay Projects

Creative juices are flowing, and it’s getting a little messy. PPL youth participants are learning about art in hands-on ways thanks to the Minnetonka Center for the Arts. Artists have led PPL youth in sessions with mixed media, clay, murals, and jewelry-making at program sites throughout the Twin Cities. The classes are funded by a Minnesota State Arts Board grant to remove financial and physical barriers to arts instruction, and provide participants with more than just their finished pieces.

“Our mission is to provide arts programs to the widest possible audience,” Minnetonka Center for the Arts Executive Director Roxanne Heaton said. “Research on every level—from brain development to community economic health to adolescent behavior—cites engagement in art-making as a powerful catalyst for positive change.”

That change has been evident in PPL’s youth, who are being impacted in profound ways.

“The classes have helped youth develop creativity, learn responsibility, and strengthen problem solving skills,” said Kirsten Flaten, PPL Youth Program and Services Coordinator. “One student really took to jewelry-making, soaked up tips and techniques from the instructor, and began helping other girls. Creating jewelry was not only a fun social activity; it gave her confidence and became a venue for her to develop leadership skills.”

PPL is one of ten community partners working with the Minnetonka Center for the Arts in efforts that have served over 1,500 people throughout the Twin Cities.

This activity is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the State’s art and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

More Creative Projects

Click here to see a stop-animation video made by one of our Homework ‘n’ Hoops participants.


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