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New Program Expressions in Art Open for Registration

In this past year, high school students, in particular, have been overwhelmed, and some of them will be looking for an outlet as the new school year begins and new challenges arise. Inspired by the post-pandemic needs of the artistic community, Shoreline Arts Alliance has developed a new program for high school students called Expressions in Art, a virtual collaborative arts program in which students will work together to create digital art and express themselves through their art. This program is designed to facilitate a creative, low-pressure environment that focuses on community building and mental wellness, and to alleviate feelings of isolation through artistic expression and interpersonal connection. Expressions in Art is open to all high school students on the shoreline in Connecticut.


Recently, I spoke with Whitney Lorenze, Program and Marketing Director at Shoreline Arts Alliance, about the new program. When asked how this program impacted the community and helped high schoolers, she said, “I think there is a huge gap in programming for high school students that are not centered around college prep. You go from being in middle school and playing on your local soccer team for fun to worrying about making the cut for JV or Varsity as a freshman because you feel your future could be on the line. The same goes for the arts. High school students are under a tremendous amount of pressure; we’re hoping to not only remind these students that they are allowed to relax and enjoy themselves but to actively provide a space to do so,” adding that “high school can be such a psychically demanding time. Teenagers – like all of us – deserve to participate in extracurricular group activities for the sake of pure enjoyment. That sentiment is at the core of Expressions in Art.”


The program will be held virtually through Zoom and Magma Studio. Students will be broken up into two groups, one group on Tuesday at 7 pm, and the other on Wednesday at the same time. There will be two five-week sessions: August 17th through September 15th, and September 28th through October 27th. Each week, students will work collaboratively to create digital artwork with other participants and a facilitator for an hour and a half. Tuition is $115 per student. No visual arts experience is required, nor is a touch-screen laptop or tablet.


During the interview, I also asked Whitney about any challenges they faced due to the program being virtual. “We haven’t yet had the opportunity to determine what snafus we might encounter with a virtual program like this, but we will be running a test program in early August with a group of interns to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible. There are pros and cons to virtual interaction, like anything else. I definitely prefer to see people in person, generally speaking, but the great thing about this is that it will be accessible to a lot more people.”


Students can sign up for the program or apply for a scholarship on the Shoreline Arts Alliance website: https://www.shorelinearts.org/expressions-in-art. Contact Whitney at communications@shorelinearts.org with any further questions, and make sure to spread the word about this program to your community!


Shoreline Arts Alliance is collaborating with Art and Soul Art Therapy and Innovative Counseling to make this program happen. Thank you to our sponsors: Branford Community Foundation, Community Foundation of Middlesex County, Guilford Foundation, Guilford Savings Bank, and The Madison Foundation. Our Community partners Cilantro Specialty Foods, The Marketplace at Guilford Food Center, Breakwater Books and The Buttonwood Tree have agreed to let us hang printed and framed student work in their respective establishments at the conclusion of the program, making student artwork visible to the community.






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