Living Arts was founded in 1999 to deliver dance instruction to a handful of students in Southwest Detroit, a unique neighborhood that has historically welcomed immigrants from Latin America. The area is culturally rich and rapidly growing but—like the rest of the city—vulnerable to a range of social, economic, and educational challenges. In the intervening years Living Arts has grown to bring transformative experiences in the performing, visual, literary and media arts to more than 3,600 youth, teachers and families annually in schools, Head Start centers and neighborhoods across Detroit. Their curriculum-based, PreK-12th grade artist-in-residence programs and robust after school classes have been shown to improve kindergarten readiness, boost academic achievement, and develop students' leadership and artistic skills. Living Arts is the only source of arts education -- in school or out of school -- for most of the young Detroiters they serve.
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