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The ARTS Center at NTC Promenade:
Full Steam Ahead!

by The Social Artist Guest Columnist Jill Hammons
Column #1, January 2nd, 2006

We're on our way! In only a little more than four years after it was founded, the terrific non-profit called A Reason to Survive (ARTS) is moving full steam ahead with plans to establish the very first ARTS Center at the recently renovated, soon-to-be-opened NTC Promenade in Point Loma. In order to make this incredible dream a reality, an exciting capital campaign has been launched. And to kick off the campaign, generous philanthropists and wonderful ARTS friends Pam and Marty Wygod have committed a challenge grant of $300,000, matching every dollar raised (up to $300,000) until April 30, 2006! Yahoooooo! This amazing gift will be evenly split between the upcoming center and an endowment for the organization.

"We're so proud to support ARTS in its mission to provide desperately needed healing arts programs for children facing adversity. We encourage others in the San Diego community to give generously to this worthy organization," said Pam Wygod, president of the Rose Foundation.
"The Wygods have been caring supporters of not only ARTS but the entire San Diego community. We feel extremely fortunate to have gained their support and trust," said Matt
D'Arrigo, founder and executive director of ARTS

The ARTS Center will allow the fledgling organization to expand its programming by offering creative in-house programs, camps, and workshops to a wider population of children in San Diego, while continuing to offer its signature outreach programs at partner sites such as hospitals, homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters and military bases. In addition to traditional art classes, ARTS will run specialty workshops using the visual and performing arts to help children cope with issues such as grief and loss, divorce, abuse and neglect, physical and mental challenges, and self-image and self-esteem issues. The wide range of programs will be managed by a combination of top-notch artist in-residence, collaborative partners (such as Malashock Dance), professional artists, art therapists, interns and volunteers. The ARTS Center is an essential resource in San Diego, providing comprehensive, quality arts programming for children facing adversity.

D'Arrigo commented, "There is no other place in San Diego where children and families can experience this level of creative healing through the therapeutic and transformative powers of
the arts. The ARTS Center at NTC Promenade will be a safe and nurturing place for children and youth to learn about the arts, while expressing themselves in positive ways that helps them cope with their challenges. In addition, having multiple children's arts agencies at one location will create a 'one-stop-shop' for kids to experience a variety of creative outlets." (ARTS will sublease space to other children's arts non-profits.)

Paul Schroeder, 2005 ARTS Board Chair and Principal for Architects Delawie, Wilkes, Rodrigues, and Barker, has donated his services to devise the extensive plans for the center's 6,200+ square foot space. The space will include 1,500 sq ft dedicated to office/administrative duties and will allow for future growth; over 4,100 sq ft of program and storage space; and 600 sq ft that will be subleased to other children's art non-profits needing smaller areas. The program space will include a ceramics/sculpture studio; multipurpose space for drawing, painting, printmaking, and mixed media; a performance space for dance and theatre; a music room, and a media arts room.

SO, TAKE THE CHALLENGE! Remember, if gifts are made before April 30, 2006, Pam and Marty Wygod will match it! Be a proud contributor to this tremendous opportunity for San Diego. If you would like to participate in this incredible opportunity and have your contribution doubled, please contact ARTS Founder and Executive Director Matt D'Arrigo at 619-297-2787 or mdarrigo@artsurvive.org. For more information, please visit www.artsurvive.org.

Editor's Note - Pam and Marty Wygod are also wonderful supporters of the San Diego Opera

* Jill Hammons is a long-time special events director at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She divides her time amongst many charitable organizations such as The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, Passionfish, and ARTS (A Reason to Survive). Jill is a Founding Board Member of ARTS, an up-and-coming San Diego non-profit that provides free artistic opportunities to kids in facing adversities. ARTS helps children heal through the therapeutic and transformative powers of the arts---giving them a reason to survive."

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