Youth Arts Initiative

ECA recognizes the transformative potential and impact of youth arts and cultural programming. ECA’s Youth Arts Initiative offers young people an opportunity to develop and expand their creative capacities and to share their vision, voices, and experiences with the broader community.

About the Youth Arts Initiative

The Youth Arts Initiative is a direct extension and development of ECA’s longstanding arts and cultural programming. Working in direct partnership with the educators and administration of Easthampton High School, and building upon the existing school curriculum, ECA creates an inclusive, generative, and participatory space where meaningful ideas and artworks are created. Each project unit culminates with a public sharing and community celebration.

Pilot Program

In spring 2018, Easthampton City Arts launched its pilot Youth Arts Initiative, in partnership with Easthampton High School. By engaging youth, families, educators, and existing community partners in new ways, ECA is able to practice and share its mission and core values with new areas of the community.

The Youth Arts Initiative is generously supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, with additional community sponsorship by Finck and Perras Insurance, Cernak Buick, and the Victor Machuga Foundation.

Vision & Voice

Four classes of students from Easthampton High School have employed their photography skills to capture their favorite places and scenes from greater Easthampton. In addition, the young photographers have written a series of love letters to the spaces depicted in their photographs. These letters serve to engage the image makers in a reflection about what a particular space means to them and also how they themselves actively participate in and contribute to the world around them.

Love Letters to Easthampton: A Platform for Community Engagement.

At the conclusion of this initial 8 week program, the resulting collection of images and Love Letters to Easthampton will be on public display at Cultural Chaos. Furthermore, viewers will be invited to participate in the project themselves — seeing, reading, and also having the option to write their own love letter to the City. This is an ongoing project — you can submit your own Love Letter to Easthampton here

Easthampton City Arts is proud to be a cultural initiative of the City of Easthampton