Vital New Voices rolls out in New Haven

The students from the Paying Homage: Soil & Site program talk about their inspirations.

Credit: Sulde Productions

TGIAL’s Vital New Voices initiative got underway in New Haven Connecticut on September 8, 2018 as a co-sponsor of a summit at Yale University that connected environmentalism, social justice, the arts, and community identity.

Presented by Artspace New Haven, Paying Homage: Soil and Site was a full-day event featuring scholars, activists, educators, civic leader and the young artists from the Artspace summer program of the same name led by nationally recognized ceramic artist Roberto Lugo. Vital New Voices supported the summer program and the summit event.

“Our goal was to bring the entire community together to celebrate the arts as powerful tools for meaningful social change,” says Artspace Executive Director Helen Kauder. “The young participants from our Summer Apprenticeship Program were on hand to share the insights gained by their recent work with Roberto Lugo. It all added up to an intriguing mix of people and perspectives.”

As a co-sponsor of the Artspace summer program and the event, Vital New Voices aims to spark a community-wide movement engaging young people in all forms of the arts to address the challenges they see around them and foster dynamic neighborhood cultures. The New Haven effort, along one taking shape in Atlanta, Georgia, is a pilot program for the national initiative.

“We’re out to show how communities like New Haven can make the arts make a difference,” says TGIAL Executive Director Michael McWilliams. “We hope to engage folks from local businesses, schools, and the public to explore what the arts can truly mean for vibrant civic life.”

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