A springtime collaboration has now grown into a full-on partnership between The Arts Empowerment Project (TAEP) and Behailu Academy. After working together in May through the Moving Poets program, they’ll now offer more opportunities for students to participate in the creative arts.
“It truly takes a village,” said Natalie Frazier Allen, Founder and Chairperson of The Arts Empowerment Project. “The Behailu Academy is an ideal partner in that we share a vision to connect these students with character-building and self-expression opportunities through the creative arts.”
Behailu Academy provides daily after-school performance and visual arts programs and summer camps. The Arts Empowerment Project funded a portion of the 12-week Moving Poets program at the Behailu Academy, with Behailu offering an invaluable ingredient to the project’s success: transportation.
“One of the biggest challenges we have is getting students to and from the programs,” said Lori Krzeszewski, Executive Director of Behailu Academy. “By eliminating that barrier the students have the chance to engage on such a much higher level.”
That continuity not only adds to the quality of the product or production, but also the quality of the students connection with the program and their peers.
“A lot of what we do is building relationships and creating with the students and community with the students,” added Krzeszewski. “The students’ ongoing participation works toward that … strengthening their peer network, coming together around a shared interest.”
It’s that “hands-on” opportunity to create that provides that opportunity for positive and creative self-expression. When students have that supportive and nurturing environment, they’re more likely to make healthy life choices, and seek out opportunity for growth.
The Behailu Academy offers performing, visual, written, and digital art. Student work is showcased at the end of the year during the Mosaic Award, the program’s annual fundraising event. Program and summer camp scholarships are available for qualifying students.
“We see this as the begging of a partnership with another great organization that’s woking so closely with youth,” said Krzeszewski. “We’re looking forward to growing together to bring more students into these arts programs.”
“That this partnership allows us to further help meet these students where they are, that’s a win-win,” added Allen.
The Behailu Academy collaboration is donor supported. Keep up the good work with a donation to The Arts Empowerment Project.