NEW BRUNSWICK–The Artists Mentoring Against Racism, Drugs & Violence (AMARD&V) Healing Through the Arts Summer Program is celebrating its 16th Anniversary this year with a series of workshops for New Brunswick youths that are designed reduce bias and promote positive behaviors through a combination of arts education, health literacy workshops and recreational activities.
Each year, the program enrolls between 50 and 70 children, at no cost. Art workshops were taught this year by a team of professional artists that include local playwright and Program Art Director Claudio Mir; Afro-Puerto Rican bomb artists Nelson Baez and Magda Baez of the Cimarron’s Ensemble; Community photographer Ulysses Flores; and visual artists Misty Asberry and Alicia Bynoe as well as Mason Gross School of the Arts BFA resent graduates Pierre Gonzalez and Armando Ortiz.
The program concludes on Friday, Aug. 17 at 6:30 p.m. with a public performance and showcase at the Rutgers University Douglass Campus Center, 100 George Street in New Brunswick. The theme of this year’s showcase is “Design Who You Are: Culture is the Soul of the People.” The evening program will feature an outdoor carnival parade, theater skits, music and dance performances and an exhibition displaying the full range of artwork produced by the 60 youths who participated in this year’s program.
In addition, a new mural created by program participants will be unveiled at Boyd Park in New Brunswick at 6 p.m. that same evening.
Throughout the summer program, the students explore many different types of art, including visual arts, theater, dance, photography and creative writing. A total of 60 students, ages 10-16, participated in team building and awareness workshops took field trips to Rutgers Gardens, Grounds for Sculpture, Ellis Island and participated in conflict resolution, nutrition and team building exercises/seminars.
Sponsors of the program include Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital’s Community Health Promotions Program, the Center for Latino Arts and Culture at Rutgers University, the Puerto Rican Action Board and the Suydam Street Reformed Church.
Funding for the AMARD&V Summer Program comes from PRAB Inc., Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital’s Community Health Promotions Program, the Center for Latino Arts and Culture at Rutgers University, Office of the Associate Vice President for Academic and Public Partnership in the Arts and Humanities –Rutgers University, National Endowment for the Arts and the Magyar Bank Charitable Foundation.