Each semester, ART 180 works with qualified local artists and our site partners to design and lead 12 or more semester-long programs, typically with 10-15 young people per class. Our programs take place in schools and at community centers and youth clubs in out-of-school time. Our primary service area is the City of Richmond, but we engage young people from the surrounding counties and have offered programs as far away as Goochland. Programs meet once a week for up to two hours, where youth learn technical skills and experience different art forms while exploring issues that affect them and their communities.ART 180 currently reaches more than 300 young people between the ages of eight and 18 annually. We deliver roughly 750 hours of programming a year, with each young person experiencing at least 25 hours of active engagement in supervised activities in any of our programs. Our artist program leaders propose themes and projects that allow participants to respond creatively, whether through visual, literary or performing art forms. Working individually and collaboratively, young people discover their own unique abilities and strengths and learn to communicate thoughts and feelings and create artwork that speaks to their experiences. Every young person is given the opportunity to share his or her work during a public showcase in which they are recognized by the community for their creativity and their courage in expressing it.
Teen Leadership Council
ART 180’s Atlas-based programming designed to reach teenagers includes:• Teen Leadership Council: The Teen Leadership Council brings 20 teenagers from across Richmond together at Atlas each week to cultivate leadership through creativity and community involvement. Designed to continue engaging youth who experienced ART 180 in their middle school years, the Teen Leadership Council furthers personal development on many levels by using art as an outlet for expression in a place where the teens are safe to build trusting relationships with our staff, teaching artists, and each other. Each young person is also paired with an adult mentor.
Additional Atlas-based programming designed to reach teenagers includes:• Eight Week Atlas Teen Programs: Similar to our traditional 12-week community-based model, these programs offer opportunities for artistic engagement for youth ages 13-18. Recruited from site partners and ART 180 alumni, these youth meet once a week for six weeks at Atlas to engage in a variety of creative mediums. The programming responds to the youth’s interests and needs, enhancing their aptitudes about themselves and their futures.• Bimonthly Art Workshops: Every 2nd and 4th Friday, ART 180 offers stand-alone, two-hour art making activities designed to introduce young people in the community to art and ART 180. These drop-in sessions make art accessible to youth whose schedules do not allow them to commit to the weekly programming, or who may be unsure about their level of interest.