Youth display art at Innovative Dreammakers EXPO

Youth and teen members from Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale (BGCS) displayed their visual, digital, and performing art at the 2nd Annual Innovative Dreammakers EXPO as part of National Fine Arts Exhibit programming on Wednesday, April 3 at the Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts.

Fine art and photography pieces were showcased at the EXPO that placed during organizational competitions held throughout the year along with live vocal, dance, drama, hoop dance, and cheer performances.

“I like art because I get to use my imagination and go free. Someday I’m going to be a famous artist,” said Geo, age 8 from the BGCS Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch. He proudly displayed his 2nd place winning mixed media art at the EXPO.

Over the past year, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale has committed to growing its arts programming with daily fine arts activities, specialized art classes, environmental art programming, and one-of-a-kind experiences and career development with Valley artists. As part of the Innovative Dreammaker initiative, youth also are exposed to performance opportunities with dance classes, cheer teams, music, and voice.

“I like cheer and dance because it is fun and when I’m bored, I can just do it,” said Beyonce, age 10 from the BGCS Scottsdale Charros Branch. Beyonce and her cheer team performed at the EXPO. “It makes me happy to dance with my friends. The most exciting thing that happened was when we won the Spirit Stick at the Chant Off at the end of summer camp last year.”

“At a time when schools continue to cut back on arts education, we are making sure all of our after-school program members have access to fine arts programming every week,” said Robyn Julien, BGCS President and CEO. “We are forming new partnerships with respected Valley arts organizations so that we can bring the best into our Clubs.”

A Thunderbirds Charities award of $50,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale (BGCS) spearheaded the growth of the initiative which has already shown results in helping youth to develop specialized skills, find their passions, and use their voice.

“We’re thrilled to help Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale and their mission to foster innovation in our communities,” said Thunderbirds Charities President Carlos Sugich. “BGCS has a tremendous positive impact on our young people and we’re very proud to help any way we can.”

“This generous gift from Thunderbirds Charities is critical to our year-round Innovative Dream-Maker programming,” said Julien. “We are continually grateful to Thunderbirds Charities for their commitment to our community and helping our youth develop the skills they need to be successful.”

The winning pieces from competitions held throughout the year will be sent to the regional competition which will be hosted by BGCS on May 14 at the BIG YAM offices on Northsight in Scottsdale. Included are:

Multicolor Drawing
Dustin M., 9, Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch
Taliya W., 10, Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch
Edward C., 14, Virginia G. Piper Branch
Peyton B., 16, Virginia G. Piper Branch

Nicole S., 6, Vestar Branch
Alyssa P., 10, Lehi Branch
Olivia H., 13, Virginia G. Piper Branch
Peyton B., 16, Virginia G. Piper Branch

Lena M., 8, Vestar Branch
Yaya H., 10, Vestar Branch
Julia G., 14, Virginia G. Piper Branch
Peyton B., 16, Virginia G. Piper Branch

Nicole S., 6, Vestar Branch
Jaden L., 12, Vestar Branch

Monochromatic Drawing
Lexi A., 8, Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch
Gage V., 11, Virginia G. Piper Branch
Edward C., 14, Virginia G. Piper Branch
Gianna M., 17, Vestar Branch

Acrylic or Oil
Gina M., 8, Vestar Branch
Josh G., 11, Virginia G. Piper Branch
Julia G., 14, Virginia G. Piper Branch
Rena J., 17, Thunderbirds Branch

Aahaan B., 8, Vestar Branch
Harper H., 11, Thunderbirds Branch
Karym N., 14, Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch
Sarah G., 16, Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch

Mixed Media
Betsy S., 9, Red Mountain Branch
Julienne H., 11, Thunderbirds Branch
Joshua B., 14, Virginia G. Piper Branch
Peyton B., 16, Virginia G. Piper Branch

Group Project
Virginia G. Piper Branch Chihuly Project

BGCS offers of variety of arts and innovation programming at their nine Clubs located within the communities of Scottsdale, North Phoenix, Fountain Hills, Mesa, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and the Hualapai Nation.

The National Fine Arts program offered to all members focuses on one medium a month to encourage artistic expression including drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, mixed media and sculpture. Youth artists whose work shows improvement and promise in their age group are placed in competition at local and regional exhibits. A panel of judges selects works for inclusion in the National Fine Arts Exhibit, which is displayed at Boys & Girls Clubs of America events.

Boys & Girls Clubs’ ImageMakers Photography program teaches youth the art and science of photography designed to help Club members go beyond taking simple snapshots on their phones and develop the skills to produce impactful photographs.

“In our Clubs, we witness firsthand the positive impact of arts programming. Members not only gain hands-on skills but also develop cultural awareness and community connectedness,” said Lyndal Pleasant, BGCS Director of Arts Programming. “Performing arts opportunities allow members to be recognized for their creativity and self-expression. We were excited to see so many from the community come to view the exhibits and support our young artists.”

Find out more about programming at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale by visiting www.bgcs.org.