A recent grant from the Community Foundation’s Blue Water Arts Committee is helping to educate and encourage local youth to get involved in the arts.
“Art is extremely important, it’s something that allows us to express ourselves, share stories, show who we are and connect,” said Jason Stier, chair of River Rec Teen Zone (RRTZ). “Having the opportunity to do what you love can inspire and influence you for the rest of your life.”
RRTZ provides a welcoming space for teens and offers programs and projects designed to encourage teens to get involved with their community and discover new interests. The organization’s Music Mentor program series connects local teens with musicians to learn about their stories and how their passion for music made a difference to them.
“Sometimes students just need something outside of the traditional day-to-day academics, and through this experience, students are going to see someone else’s perspective, how it’s communicated through music and the impact it has had on their life,” Stier said.
The Charles & Margaret Anderson Foundation Endowment through the Blue Water Arts Committee provided funding for a $2,000 grant to support the program and pay stipends to musicians, many of whom are from the area.
“Art can save lives, we’ve experienced that firsthand,” Stier said. “It might be just one student who talks to the musician after they play, but the impact that we want this to have is that there is somebody that they can connect with as a human being, recognize their similarities and be able to do great things together.”
Since its establishment in 1994, the Charles & Margaret Anderson Foundation Endowment has given over $1.34 million to programs and organizations dedicated to advancing the arts and culture throughout the community. It supports the efforts of the Blue Water Arts Committee and provides dedicated annual grants to the International Symphony Orchestra and Port Huron Musicale.
The Community Foundation appreciates the foresight of the Andersons, whose fund promotes the importance of the arts and ensures that they are accessible to all.