PROVIDENCE – AS220 Youth – the arts collaborative’s free arts education program for at-risk teens – has won a 2012 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, AS220 announced Friday.
According to AS220, this award is the highest honor in the United States for out-of-school arts and humanities program and is focused on celebrating the creativity of America’s young people, particularly those from under-served communities. In addition to the recognition, the program will receive a $10,000 grant.
AS220 Youth, one of 12 after- and out-of-school programs across the country to receive the award, was chosen from a pool of more than 350 nominations and 50 finalists.
Anne Kugler, director of the program, and 16-year-old program member Justin Espinal will travel to Washington, D.C., to attend a ceremony hosted by first lady Michelle Obama on Monday, Nov. 19.
AS220 Youth is an arts education program that serves young people from 14 to 21 free of charge. The program focuses on those youth in the care and custody of the state of Rhode Island.
AS220 Youth has continuously offered arts programming at the Rhode Island Training School since 1998, making it the longest-standing arts program in a juvenile detention facility in the U.S.
The program – which offers workshops in music, dance, creative writing, visual arts, 2D and 3D design, and photography – serves roughly 330 youth each year at AS220’s 115 Empire St. complex, the Rhode Island Training School and the Urban Collaborative Accelerated Program, a middle school for at-risk youth.
This marks the third consecutive year that AS220 Youth has been named a finalist for the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, but the first year it has been named a winner.