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A New Vision for Arts Engagement in Lincoln

The Lincoln Arts Council (LAC) is committed to providing engaging arts opportunities for everyone in our community. Each year LAC provides art opportunities to more than 2,000 under-resourced students and at-risk youth through the upstArt program in partnership with Lincoln Public Schools. We also provide grants to arts organizations offering arts programs or projects which show cultural and generational diversity or focus on under-resourced youth. And, our Emerging Artist program provides opportunities for new artists to show their work.

However — with your help — we feel that we can do more by developing community initiatives that use the arts to help vulnerable people—older adults with decreased autonomy, new Americans, and those in recovery—to find balance by fostering their resilience and feelings of social inclusion.

Black, Indigenous & People of Color. Black Art Matters. The creative visual contributions of BIPOC should be valued and represented more widely. And young people in our community should see the contributions of black, indigenous and artists of color. The issue isn’t that black art is rare or that black artists are less talented, so why is there such an absence of black representation in art? 

Lincoln’s Immigrant Communities. The arts can help with social inclusion. Artists and cultural organizations can improve the life circumstances of new Lincolnites and help integrate them into community life while helping them retain their cultural identity. And just as important, we can provide opportunities for new immigrants to share the art and culture that they bring with them.

Special Needs. The arts can serve special needs population of all ages and abilities including children, adolescents, adults and seniors with learning and developmental disabilities such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, Down Syndrome, ADHD, Cerebral Palsy and other neurological dysfunctions. The elderly, cancer and stroke victims and those with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and those with traumatic brain injuries and physical disabilities can also benefit.

Recovery. Art therapy is useful to people undergoing addiction treatment because it provides them with ways to understand and cope with their addiction.

Incarcerated. There are tremendous benefits of the art making process on the incarcerated. The act of art making can decrease the number of disciplinary reports written on inmates who participated in an arts program and recidivism can decrease for those who participated in the arts in corrections.

Older Adults. There is substantial evidence that participatory arts activities help to maintain the health and quality of life of older adults. While extending the so-called golden years can be a blessing, challenges include deteriorating health, social isolation, loss of loved ones, and life transitions. Fortunately, research shows that arts-related interventions can help. Creative practices provide opportunities to reduce difficult symptoms associated with many forms of dementia, anxiety and depression, and can even provide occupational support through body movement.

Join us in providing Engaging and Enriching Arts Opportunities for Everyone.