Express Yourself at the State House

Last week, Express Yourself mentor, Rachel Cushing, and staff, Molly Blumberg and Malene Jakobsen, attended a reception for the Amplify Grant recipients at the Massachusetts State House.  The program is sponsored by the Massachusetts Cultural Council as a way to support and highlight youth artistic voices in the community.  Rachel Cushing and Nic Bennett, two Express Yourself mentors, each received Amplify grants to lead projects in the Express Yourself studio that will impact the larger Beverly community.  Rachel is one of the few youth to receive the award in 2016, the inaugural year of the program, and again in 2017.  Her 2016 project, a temporary outdoor public art installation of colorful painted parasols, was highlighted at the reception.  The reception was attended by state legislators, representatives, and senators, as well as MCC staff and the youth from a variety of arts programming who received the grant funding.  Government personnel and youth leaders gave remarks about the importance of the arts in youth and community development, and pledged advocacy for these vital programs that nurture and enrich the lives of so many. (Pictured above, left to right: Malene Jakobsen; Rachel Cushing; Anita Walker, Mass Cultural Council Executive Director; Molly Blumberg)