Archive for May 18th, 2021

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Maine Youth Action Network

May 18, 2021

Arts well represented

I am sure that many of you are familiar with the youth leadership group that the Maine Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE) supports. If not, below is a letter written by one of ABC’s (Arts are Basic Coalition) Student Leadership Group who recently experienced the 2021 Maine Youth Action Network (MYAN) conference. The work of MYAN and the leadership group are closely related. Thank you MAAE and students for participating! And a great big thanks to Delia for sharing her story.

Hi Everyone. My name is Delia Harms and I’m one of the members of ABC’s Student Leadership Group. I, along with Michaela Carrow, another Student Leadership Group member, and Madison Westrich, a leader of one of our recently formed Arts Advocacy Teams, facilitated a workshop at the 2021 Maine Youth Action Network (MYAN) conference in April. MYAN’s mission is to build healthier communities for young people, and this year’s virtual conference was specifically centered around building connections among young people after a year of such tragic loss and disconnect. 

As students involved with ABC, we saw that our experience with and passion for the arts fit perfectly into MYAN’s goals for this year’s conference. A strong presence of arts programs in schools is essential to building those healthier communities for young people. The arts in schools create emotionally safe environments for students to express themselves and grow together. This is the message we hoped to deliver throughout our workshop. This is why we focused our activities around creating space for meaningful conversations, all while building that inclusive, connected environment that we see the arts fostering in our schools.

Delia Harms

I got to watch the group of students participating in the workshop get to know each other in small groups and engage in exciting conversations about advocacy efforts in their schools and what they are passionate about, which was wonderful for me to see as a facilitator. We are hopeful that we can continue to foster these safe spaces for conversations, often using the arts as a catalyst, at more events in the future and in our own schools in collaboration with all of our arts advocacy teams across the state!

Michaela Carrow
Madison Westrich
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