Clackamas County Arts Alliance opening doors to positive change

Clackamas Review – September 20, 2017

by Ellen Spitaleri

Youth Arts for Change aims to use the arts as a catalyst to open doors for youth, promoting positive change, and forging constructive connections

Lisa Smith, program coordinator for Clackamas County Arts Alliance’s Youth Arts for Change, wishes she could reach every youth in the county with her programs. Since that isn’t possible, she urges people to support the arts in their schools and in the community.

“Buy a sketch pad for a kid interested in drawing, take a youth to a concert — do anything that exposes kids to creativity,” Smith said.

“The goal of Youth Arts for Change is to use the arts as a catalyst to open doors for youth, promoting positive change, and forging constructive connections between youth and their community,” she said.

Smith supervises four major programs. The first, Youth Theatre for Change, took place at Clackamas Community College in August. For six weeks, the teens worked with two professionals, Kirk Mouser, executive artistic director for Portland-based Stumptown Stages, and playwright Jenni Green Miller.

The workshop culminated with a one-night-only performance of a play based on the experiences of the high-school-age students.

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