Yesterday, Chandler Center for the Art’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC) visited the Chandler Police Department. YAC were hosted by Officer Robin Valenzuela. The council received a tour of the shooting range, police car and jail cells – they even got to try on a bullet proof vest!
The tour was full of dialogue with the officers. YAC learned about the legal and safety issues that will effect them as they transition to adulthood. The devastating long-term effects and legal punishment of sexting and bullying were also discussed. Over all, the evening was informative and fun for the entire group.
We are looking forward to YAC’s upcoming fundraiser on February 9, 2013. Each year the new council takes on a fundraiser event. This year the fundraiser will include a Wayne Newton pre-show raffle, mystery box and silent auction. The goal is to raise enough money to send four kids to our three week summer camp (approx. $2,000). People wishing to send donations for the YAC Summer Camp Scholarship may donate at any of our shows or send money to Chandler Center for the Arts (Attn: YAC Fundraiser) 250 North Arizona Avenue Chandler, AZ 85225.
I have only one word to describe the students who applied to be a part of the Center’s second Youth Advisory Council…AMAZING! CCA staff, Chandler Cultural Foundation board members and graduates from last year’s Youth Advisory Council (or as staff refers to them…the YAC’s) interviewed the candidates and narrowed it down to the top 15. With so many talented candidates, that was extremely challenging!
The 15 students selected applied from all over the East Valley from multiple schools and districts. You will get to meet each of them in future blogs and if you thought teens were only interested in hanging out at the mall, PlayStations and iPhones…think again.
The Youth Advisory Council’s program objectives are to focus on Arts Appreciation, Community Service and Leadership Skills in order to become advocates for the arts and well rounded community leaders. They will be engaged in experiential 3-hour sessions from September – February that will provide hands-on real world leadership situations of a Performing Arts Center. Teens will complete the program with increased knowledge of: career opportunities, financial responsibility, leadership skills, small and large group dynamics and public relations and marketing. This program is free of charge to all participants and a Certificate of Completion will be given to each teen at the conclusion of the program year. Council members are 13-18 years of age and are currently attending a public, private, parochial, charter, or home schools in Chandler and from schools in surrounding cities.
The YAC’s met for the first time on September 19 where they were introduced to CCA staff. They toured the Center and got to know each other by sharing what they wanted to get out of the program. They first and foremost wanted to have fun; build lifelong friendships; develop their leadership skills; and to be actively involved after their term was over (and they want to eat during their sessions!)
Last night their session focused on defining the arts and what is considered art. They also had a panel discussion on “Why the arts are important”. Guest panelists included Bob Booker, Executive Director, Arizona Commission on the Arts; Salley Garrison, Front of House Coordinator, Tempe Art Center; Janet Langley, VP Organizational Effectiveness, Gateway Community College; Ally Haynes-Hamble, Assistant Director, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts; Larry Whitesell, Manager, Higley Center for the Performing Arts; Jimmie Byrd, Production Coordinator, Chandler Center for the Arts; and Michelle MacLennan, Assistant Manager, Chandler Center for the Arts.
The YAC’s assignment for next week is to come up with some fundraising ideas for the fundraising event they will be doing later in the year. The session topic for next week will be on understanding what makes a not-for-profit organization different and Money, Money, Money!
Read about what happened next Thursday, Oct. 25!
Just in time for Spring Training (which I love even though it doesn’t “count”) we’re having our own baseball moments at the Center this weekend with Damn Yankees. Basically, we’re going back to the 1950s where Joe makes a deal with the devil so that his team, the Washington Senators (who were a real team, by the way) can beat those “Damn Yankees*
Part of me loves this Broadway musical because it’s given me an excuse to make as many cracks at the Evil Empire as I can.But as I was listening to the soundtrack, I realized that its taken two opposing forces, a Broadway play and sports, and fused them together to create something really different that works for both audiences. If this sounds like it’s right up your alley, you can grab your tickets here.
Before the show, we’re also having a silent auction for our first ever Youth Advisory Council, called Art for Kidz. They’re trying to lay the foundation for next year’s YAC to have a better start financially than they did. They’re a wonderful bunch of young adults and I’m glad we have them around. The silent auction is from 6-7:30 on Saturday, right before Damn Yankees. You don’t need a ticket to browse the silent auction, so feel free to give back to the group that has given up so much to improve the art in Chandler.
*Yankees fans, just pretend the entire play is about the Red Sox. It still works and it might even be funnier.
Last night I had the privilege to speak to the Center’s Youth Advisory Council about what I do to help the Center.
Not going to lie, I was pretty nervous about speaking to a group of teenagers, but that didn’t matter. What mattered was these young adults.
Just a few days after Cave Creek announced that they could no longer fund their arts programs (among others), this group showed me that people do still care about art, in all of its forms, and they will do what it takes to keep it accessible.
That photo was taken at about 7:30 last night, on a day when some of those kids had been at school since 6:30am. After a full day of learning, studying, and other practices, they still had the energy to sit down and plan a fundraiser.
They’ll be hosting their fundraiser on March 10 before the Damn Yankees performance. The hope is that they’ll raise enough money for next year’s Youth Advisory Council, and be able to fill the youth arts void left by the schools.
When the schools and their communities can’t help their children, I’m glad to know that a group of teenagers are willing and able to step up to the plate.