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  Friday, March 27, 2015
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"Young at Arts" Calendar Contest
By Rick Winterson
      “Young at Arts” has been in existence since last May.  It is headquartered at the South  Boston Community Health Center, and is administered by Linda Doran, assisted by Roberta Rogers.  Young at Arts is actually a collaborative effort among the Health Center, the South Boston Arts Association, Artists for Humanity, and the South Boston Association of Non-Profits.  Together, they sponsor workshops in studio and performing arts, increase contact between adults and South Boston’s young people, and develop many critical youth assets.

     During 2005, workshops in painting, photography, writing, and performance arts were held.  These led to exhibits at November’s Community Day at the Convention Center.

Another major activity was the Calendar Contest.  The young people of South Boston were asked the questions, “What makes me strong?  What keeps me safe?”  Each young participant was asked to submit a poem, photograph, painting, or drawing in answer to those questions.  Twelve poems and twelve works of art were selected and assembled into a calendar.  The 24 winners in the Calendar Contest each received a $100 savings bond.

     In an interview with some of the winners, Cassie Moakley said she was surprised to be selected.  She drew her guitar, because learning to play it made her feel safe and strong.  Patrick McKunes felt the same way about the South Boston High football team, which he drew and where he plays wide receiver and safety.  Michael Lucas echoed that team spirit.  He plays second base for the Savin Hill baseball team and hits a respectable .280.  Jamie Sellers was very happy to be selected.  She drew a brightly colored picture of her family, who she thinks keep her safe and strong.

     Calendar Contest winners were announced at the Community Day in November.  The awards were given out by Mayor Thomas Menino.  Each poem and work of art were then assembled into a calendar, which is a really beautiful creation itself.  On the calendar’s cover page are the words, “Vision and Promise … Words and Pictures from South Boston Youth.”  The calendar’s layout and printing were expertly done by Don Wilson’s firm, Communication Graf/X.

     Supplies of these striking calendars are available through Linda Doran at the South Boston Community Health Center.  The Young at Arts Calendar Contest program was funded with a grant from the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention and Partners HealthCare.  Other supporters and sponsors of the Calendar Contest included Congressman Stephen Lynch, state Sen. Jack Hart, state Rep. Brian Wallace, City Council President Michael Flaherty, Councilor Felix Arroyo, Councilor Stephen Murphy, Councilor James Kelly, Mt. Washington Bank, Doughboy Donuts, Java House, Karen’s Boutique, and Local 1199 SEIU – United Healthcare Workers East.

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Four of the Calendar Contest winners - Michael Lucas, Patrick McKunes, Jamie Sellers, and Cassie Moakley.