• 32°

EACA and CCDPC partner to bring art to at-risk youth

A local partnership will bring the gift of art to at-risk youth this holiday season.
The Elizabethton Arts and Cultural Alliance is partnering with the Carter County Drug Prevention Coalition to give away art supplies to at-risk youth in the area.
It all began when the EACA approached the CCDPC with a desire to help children in the area this holiday season.
“The Elizabethton Arts and Cultural Alliance is proud to partner with our friends at Carter County Drug Prevention Coalition to bring the children of our community Art for the Holidays,” said Shanasha Acuña, EACA president. “Remember the feeling you had the first time you opened a new box of crayons, or the first time you smudged a brush into a gob of fresh paint and smeared it onto a canvas? What if you could give that feeling as a gift to a child in your town?”
Acuña said the hope is to help kids find an outlet.
“We wanted to do something for the holidays. Obviously this has been a rough year for a lot of people and there are a lot of at-risk youth in our area,” she explained. “I know that there are a lot of other causes, like food and clothes, and art supplies doesn’t really come to the level of that need, but there are a lot of children who are stuck at home or in situations that aren’t good or maybe they need an outlet, and art can provide that for them.”
Acuña explained that while art can be a great outlet for kids, many cannot afford the supplies.
“If we can give some of those things away, and give them a way to sit down and focus on something that’s not negative and to encourage them, that’s something we really want to do.”
While this is the first time the EACA has done a holiday event like this, Acuña says there is hope to do more in the future.
Donations will be taken up for the event from Dec. 1-20.  Acuña donated the first $20, and hopes for someone to match it and continue the trend from there. Donations can be monetary or physical art supplies.
“Every penny of this will go to supplies,” she said.  “We’re not keeping anything. This all goes for the kids.”
Donations may be given by visiting the EACA Facebook page and hitting the donate button, or can be mailed to ElizAlliance at 115 S. Sycamore St., Suite C, Elizabethton TN 37643. Any local business wanting to donate supplies can contact Acuña by emailing president@elizalliance.org.
“Art is not just some extra thing that is throwaway” said Acuña. “It’s what we turn to when things are tough. It can be drawing, music, a movie, anything like that. It’s that outlet when things get tough. And that’s what kids need right now.”
Donations will be accepted from Dec. 1-20.