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Discovered Spirit Program Reception
In 2010, the Discovered Spirit Project was initiated with the intention to give the children CCC serves a voice by encouraging self-expression through art. Words alone are not enough to express what children feel, especially when faced with complex issues such as violence, abuse, neglect or coping with poverty. This project gives a voice to these children to express a wide range of emotions and to help them work through conflicts and traumas.
Three sessions are held for children ages 10-15 to create art masks with the help of volunteer professional artists. Given the theme of Past, Present & Future, the children produce an array of outcomes from whimsical to evocative. In the children‘s own words, brief descriptions of the feelings and thoughts behind their creations are displayed with each mask. While expressing themselves in this visual way, the children gain a sense of empowerment that can help them develop a positive self-image and improve their self-esteem.
The masks are then part of a juried art show. During an Artists’ Reception, the opening for a week long exhibit, art experts and prominent persons judge the submitted masks, awarding several ribbons along with awards designed to support the young artists’ ongoing creativity and education. Next, the masks are part of a 12-month traveling exhibit that visits communities though out Connecticut. The goal of the Discovered Spirit Project is to build broader awareness of CCC and the children it serves, and to offer an opportunity of recognition and accomplishment to the children participating.
Connecticut State Representative Tony Hwang, Commissioner Joette Katz, CT Department of Children and Families,Natalie Holder-Winfield, Esq., Prominent Employment Lawyer, Diann Cook, Artist, Educator, Author, and Youth Advocate