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How Do You See Newberry?

The Newberry Arts Center partnered with The Haven Newberry’s second annual summer mentoring session for middle and high school youth.  A local nonprofit, The Haven Newberry, was started to create a positive safe space for the youth to talk and get support to navigate the challenges they experience. During the 2023 summer break, many teens gathered every Friday to tell us what they see in THEIR community – on canvas and through video. Friendship, family, familiar neighborhoods, sports, and nature all came to life. The teens painted scenes to remember lives lost too soon in the community and wanted to be a part of change.

Princess Penny’s three teens participated in the summer program, held in partnership with the Haven and made possible with support from CREATE. Princess is a parent coordinator with The Haven and was excited to be involved too. “I painted a hand for togetherness,” she said.  “That’s what we really need.” It was something different—the first time Princess Penny and her kids got to paint together as a family, “We came together as one.”

Her boys learned so much in a short time and were so proud of the video they created. Princess Penny noticed that they felt completely at ease doing interviews for the video. The final product was beyond her expectations— “it was amazing,” she said.

The teens had the opportunity to share the video with the mayor, the chief of police, and other community members in a final celebration at the end of the summer. The mural is traveling to different places around Newberry where the students can see their stories told every day.

Thanks to our supporters, the Newberry Arts Center continues to carry out our vision of creating art experiences that bring together our community.

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