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Linn-Benton Arts Council

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LBAC Programs


Arts Reaching Youth at Risk
  An Overview
       In 1998 the Corvallis Arts Center/Linn-Benton Arts Council began a creative collaboration first with the Oregon Arts Commission, then with the Benton County Commission on Children and Families to provide arts programs for youth at risk. Youth arts programs have been proven to be powerful crime prevention tools. They offer instructive and engaging environments for young people who have been identified as being at high risk. High risk youth are children and teens whose circumstances and behavior put them at greater risk of entering our courts or dropping out of school. Studies across the country have shown that arts programs for at-risk youth have decreased involvement in delinquent behavior, increased academic achievement, and improved youth's attitudes about themselves and their future. The arts programs are designed to provide a meaningful opportunity for these young people to use their creative talents, enhance their self-worth and self-discipline, improve their decision-making ability, and increase their community involvement.
Six factors that put children at risk of becoming delinquents are:
     1. School dropout or poor school attendance
   2. Substance abuse by youth or within the family
   3. Victim of child abuse
   4. Ineffective parenting
   5. Severe behavior problems
   6. Lack of parenting after school from the hours of 3 to 6 pm
Our Current Programs
       The programs we offer vary, according to the needs of the youth and organizations with whom we work, but the following are programs served in 2000-2001 and 2001-2002. We hope to expand the number of youth we are able to reach in future years.
Programs We Serve: (offered during regular school hours)
  1. The Children's Farm Home - for students who are in the residential treatment center
2. Fresh Start (housed at Corvallis High School) - for students who have dropped out or are in danger of dropping out of school
3. Center for Alternative Learning - CAL (housed at Franklin School) - at risk students from around the district are referred to this center
Programs We Serve: (after school programs)
  1. Middle schools in 509J
2. Philomath Middle School
3. Alsea and Monroe Middle Schools
Sample Projects in our Arts Reaching Youth At-Risk Programs:
       The artists who have worked in our Youth At-Risk programs are dedicated, innovative artists who designed projects that bring out the creativity in youth.
       In 2001, the Linn-Benton Arts Council hosted a regional workshop of leaders from health care institutions, social service agencies, community organizations, and the arts community to explore the role of arts in healing. Led by Dian Svendsen, an international consultant in Human and Organizational Development, participants responded enthusiastically to this idea and began to focus on what could come from such a partnership.
     A steering committee was formed to act in an advisory capacity to the Linn-Benton Arts Council. The committee outlined some preliminary steps which included an ongoing assessment of needs within the two-county region, the development of a small-scale model program, a meeting with artists interested in working in this program, and the development of a workshop which would provide training to artists working in alternative settings. These preliminary goals have been completed.
     We are dreaming on a large scale for this program and will keep the community informed through our web site and Artspirit. For more information about the range of work being done in this field, please take a look at the web site for The Society for the Arts in Health Care, based in Washington D.C. for the express purpose of assisting organizations wishing to establish or advance the arts in health care settings. Though the use of arts in health care settings is still relatively new and innovative, great strides have been made in the last fifteen years in recognizing the crucial role that arts can play in healing processes. (www.societyartshealthcare.org)
Speakers Bureau
      In 2001 the staff of the Linn-Benton Arts Council
developed a Speakers Bureau to provide information about the
Linn-Benton Arts Council and Corvallis Arts Center. Organizations and clubs seeking speakers for monthly meetings or businesses who provide informational presentations to their employees can contact Mary Van Denend (maryv@caclbca.org) or Victoria Fridley (victoria@caclbca.org) to arrange for a speaker. Each year the staff will develop a different presentation focusing on exciting programs or new developments for the LBAC and CAC.
       The Linn-Benton Arts Council, with funding assistance from the Oregon Arts Commission, has offered a variety of workshops aimed at assisting artists and nonprofit arts and cultural organizations. Workshops have ranged from grant writing information to marketing ideas for artists. In 2002 we worked with the Benton County Commission on Children and Families to offer a workshop to provide training to artists working in alternative settings, whether in our youth at risk programs or health care settings. We will continue to offer workshops based on the needs of our artists and non-profit organizations.
Professional Assistance
       The Linn-Benton Arts Council staff answer questions on a daily basis on a wide range of topics, from "where can I find a classical guitarist to play at my daughter's wedding?" to "how can I secure nonprofit status for my organization?" We are eager to be of assistance to artists, organizations, and the general community. In addition, staff members serve on a number of community committees and boards: da Vinci Days, Corvallis Fall Festival, Madison Avenue Task Force, and STARS to name a few. Staff are also available to serve as consultants on specific projects or to developing organizations.
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