Member Profile

Arts in Reach

Arts In Reach (AIR) envisions a world in which all young women are respected, supported and enriched throughout their teenage years. Our mission is to empower at-risk and low-income teenage girls from the Greater NH Seacoast through inclusive, creative community. AIR is committed to engaging high-need teenage girls, regardless of their backgrounds, in arts and mentoring programs that are accessible and free-of-charge, including transportation.  Teens develop self-confidence as they learn that what they have to say is important, heard, and celebrated through public displays of their songs, poems, artworks, dances, and performances. We take girls to professional art venues and workplaces where they see artworks displayed and performed, talk with creative professionals and artists, and learn about working in various creative fields. Teens in our Advance On AIR program serve as interns and apprentices in our programs for younger teens as a means of building leadership skills as well as college and career opportunities.

In 1997 AIR began as a six-week summer arts camp for six middle school girls in Dover, NH. Today, we annually provide nine, multi-session, interdisciplinary arts and mentoring programs in literary, visual, and performing arts after school and during school vacations. In FY18 we served approximately 100 girls ages 13-20, 34% of whom enrolled in multiple programs. We engage approximately 15-20 teens in each program, with a total of 180 program placements.

AIR serves a particularly high-need population of young women. In FY18, 41% were from households with less than $35,000 annual income, 39% were on Free or Reduced Lunch, and 39% came from single-parent homes of which 88% were female-led. Additionally, 51% of participants were diagnosed with anxiety and/or depression, 27% with other mental health disorders, 40% with learning disabilities, 15% with physical challenges, and 45% with multi-risks. Often participants are from children’s homes, homeless shelters, or are couch-surfing due to dysfunctional family situations. Many do not feel like they belong anywhere and have low self-esteem. According to one participant, “Before AIR, I was dealing with self-hatred and didn’t feel comfortable with myself and who I was, like I felt wounded almost, but being here surrounded by people who loved and cared about me changed my view. I wish it didn’t have to end.”

To learn more, please go to https://www.artsinreach.org/

Contact us at info@artsinreach.org or (603) 433-4278

Posted on: Monday, May 20, 2019

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