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Columbia College Chicago Master's students in the arts unite with Chicago's youth

A unique Master's program at Columbia College Chicago is bridging the gap between community organizations and youth arts education. When economic times caused budget cuts for youth art programs in Chicago, Columbia College Master's students rose to action. Developed in 1998, Columbia's Center for Community Arts Partnerships (CCAP) began to transform the lives of Chicago's diverse youth. This composition of Columbia students and professors, along with Chicago Public School students and educators created this community organization to develop a viable alliance in the arts and entertainment industries. 

Five years later, the CCAP developed  the Arts in Youth and Community Development (AYCD) concentration for Masters in Arts Management. The AYCD allowed for Master's students to learn hands-on, the leadership skills needed to manage the compelling field of community development and youth arts education. In 2004, Columbia College Theater professor, Brian Shaw and Free Street Artistic Director, Ron BieganskiIn came together to teach a group of Columbia students how to teach theater to youth. Columbia college students passed on the teachings they learned to teens at the Association House, a non-profit community center located in Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood. Soon after, the students created a full length film, Sonic Ardor. In 2008, Sabin Magnet School celebrated their partnership with the CCAP with an Afterschool Program Showcase. Students of Sabin were able to share with the community their many talents through art exhibits, dance and theater performances, photography and creative writings.  

The amazing factor about Columbia's AYCD program is that two generations of leaders are being created. Master's students will graduate with a newfound awakening bonded by innovative visions in becoming leaders in their communities. On the other hand, Chicago's youth will be provided opportunities to express themselves in various art forms from writing, performances and music to visual arts, media and digital technology. Columbia College is not only providing a Master's degree for the purpose of building up Chicago's surrounding communities; but even more, to give our youth a voice that will save them and the generations to come.

For More Info: Please Visit Columbia College Chicago Center for Community Arts Partnerships

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