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Nurturing Minds and Spirits: Educational Consultants Consortium

"Once On This Island" performance by the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe

The Educational Consultants Consortium (ECC) was awarded a grant to enrich the lives of at least 40 Manatee County youth, aged 11-17, through exposure to arts and cultural experiences that promise to enhance their mental health and overall sense of well-being. In a world where the pressures of adolescence are more complex than ever, their project seeks to provide a lifeline to young participants, helping them not only discover the wonders of artistic expression but also fostering resilience in the face of life’s challenges.

Over the course of at least six weeks, these eager young minds will engage in weekly after-school dance lessons, igniting their creative spirits and offering a healthy outlet for self-expression. Additionally, they will have the unique opportunity to attend live performances by the West Coast Black Theatre Troupe during their 2023/2024 season, broadening their horizons and nurturing their appreciation for the arts. But the project goes beyond just the arts; it delves into the realm of mental health and emotional well-being. Through group dialogues and candid conversations, these youth will explore their attitudes about mental health and resilience, gaining valuable insights into the importance of emotional well-being.

Additionally, program participants will partake in Youth Mental Health First Aid training, arming them with the tools and knowledge to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of those around them. Through this multifaceted approach, ECC hopes to create a brighter, more resilient future for the youth of Manatee County, demonstrating the transformative power of the arts and open dialogue.