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  • Arts In Reach creates community during quarantine—A free virtual event

    DISCLAIMER: The following content wasn't created by, but is being shared by the Chamber Collaborative on behalf of a member.

    PORTSMOUTH—Join Arts In Reach (AIR) for a virtual event called Creating Community During Quarantine on Wednesday, May 12 from 7 to 8 p.m. This event explores the experiences of teenage girls during the pandemic. It will stream live from the 3S Artspace stage and air on YouTube. The event is free but registration is required at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/arts-in-reach-creating-community-inquarantine-virtual-tickets-151543924959

    Attendees will preview Thrive, a new short film created by young women involved in AIR about their experiences with online schooling and the impact of COVID on their lives. Event attendees will be able to participate via chat in a panel discussion among the young filmmakers, their mentors, and a representative from NAMI-NH. 

    This short film and live event touch on a topic at the center of recent news reports about the effects of COVID on teens’ lives. The number of N.H. adolescents on waitlists for acute psychiatric services is at historic levels. NH teenage anxiety, depression, and suicide rates have risen. A recent CDC report shows that teenagers’ emergency department mental health visits have increased by 31 percent nationally, and the number of girls seeking emergency mental health services far exceeds boys.

    Thrive was created during AIR’s virtual filmmaking program last fall. The young women involved learned about documentary filmmaking during weekly sessions with local theater director and documentarian, Catherine Stewart. The lead filmmaker of Thrive and one of the panelists at this event, Aiyana DeYoung-Martin, has been honored with an AmplifiHER Award from the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation. This film project was made possible by funding from The Richard Spence Lockhart Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.

    AIR is a recipient of the 3S Artspace Community Virtual Event Grant. This grant was developed by 3S Artspace in direct response to the persisting challenges non-profits face in reaching their constituents and meeting fundraising goals for operations during the pandemic. 3S is proud to provide staff support, lighting, sound, and video equipment to AIR for this event, helping them reach their audience and mission goals.

    “We are so grateful to 3S Artspace for creating this grant opportunity and choosing to help AIR produce this event,” said Debra Holloway, AIR executive director. “Teens have been adversely affected by the pandemic. Their well-being hinges on opportunities for positive social and emotional development, like those that are available through AIR.”

    About Arts in Reach
    AIR offers arts-based programs for girls age 11-22-years-old from the Greater Seacoast region. Programs feature professional teaching artists as mentors who balance high-quality arts instruction and a supportive community focused on social and emotional development, resilience, and skills for success in education, careers, and life.

    AIR is committed to equity and inclusion by making all programs free of cost to participants and valuing differences in abilities, culture, ethnicity, gender expression, race, religion, personal experience, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.

    AIR is a member of the Dover Mental Health Alliance and is one of the first local organizations to be designated as a "PLACE" dedicated to providing a safe, judgment-free space for participants, families, volunteers, and staff to prioritize mental health.

    AIR’s free summer programs
    This summer, AIR is offering five, week-long arts programs, two virtually and three in-person with COVID safety protocols. These programs are free and include all supplies, loaner devices for virtual programs, and transportation for in-person programs. They range from exploring creative drawing techniques for original characters and visual art in nature to world drumming and mindful movement, acting, and songwriting.

    “We are excited to return to in-person programs this summer while maintaining virtual opportunities for teens who need them,” said AIR Program Manager Cara Cabral. “It’s sure to be a fun-packed summer of arts and community.”

    For information about AIR’s summer programs and to register, visit www.artsinreach.org/programs.