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Archive for Thursday, January 26, 2006

City’s art program for youths receives White House award

January 26, 2006

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— A Lawrence arts program received national recognition Wednesday during a White House ceremony.

Van Go Mobile Arts Inc. received a 2005 Coming Up Taller Award for its Jobs in the Arts Make Sense program, which is known as JAMS. First lady Laura Bush presented the award to Lynne Green, Van Go's executive director, and Faith Darnell, a 17-year-old JAMS participant.

"To be recognized like this, it's awesome. It's the best," Green said. "We feel like we just won an Academy Award."

Van Go's program for at-risk teens was one of 17 organizations to receive the award, which comes with a $10,000 grant. The recognition is given to after-school arts and humanities programs across the United States that encourage educational achievement; more than 250 organizations were nominated.

"The programs we recognize with the Coming Up Taller Awards bring caring adults into the lives of children so these children can become successful and healthy adults themselves," said Bush, who presented the honor on behalf of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities.


First lady Laura Bush greets Lynne Green, left, and Faith Darnell, representatives of Lawrence's Van Go Mobile Arts Inc., at the White House as they are presented with a 2005 Coming Up Taller Award. Wednesday's awards were presented to after-school arts and humanities programs that promote educational achievement.

First lady Laura Bush greets Lynne Green, left, and Faith Darnell, representatives of Lawrence's Van Go Mobile Arts Inc., at the White House as they are presented with a 2005 Coming Up Taller Award. Wednesday's awards were presented to after-school arts and humanities programs that promote educational achievement.

Green started JAMS in 1999. Young adults ages 14 through 21 earn minimum wage to create and complete art projects commissioned by local organizations and businesses. Participants are also paid for artwork that is sold in the Van Go Gallery. The program employs 100 teenagers each year from the Lawrence area.

Darnell has been with JAMS for nearly four years. She has helped paint a library mural and has worked with glass, jewelry and paint. She said the program has given her confidence.

"I just grew more as a person. My social skills developed a lot more, and it was just very fun, very nurturing," Darnell said.

Green said the impact of the program has been "astounding."

"We have seen kids really transform," Green said. "Art is such a powerful tool to do that, and for the children in the program, they have succeeded and transformed their lives, found jobs and gotten good grades."

Green said she planned to put the award money into a savings account for the program. Van Go is in the midst of a $325,000 fund-raising drive to build expanded headquarters in Lawrence.

Comments

badger 8 years, 10 months ago

I think it's great when programs that help kids by getting them engaged in something receive recognition.

Way to go!

Linda Aikins 8 years, 10 months ago

Way to go Lynne! I'm so glad you got this recognition. I know how hard you and all your staff work.

NICE! And Lawrence gets kudos for a change!

mefirst 8 years, 10 months ago

This is wonderful. What a great program. Congrats to all the kids and adults who are affliated with it!

cutny 8 years, 10 months ago

Right on. VanGo rocks. They've been doing it so well for so long, I'm glad the idiot brigade gave them their due.

Kathleen Christian 8 years, 10 months ago

CONGRATULATIONS? BRAVO Lynn for all you hard work and sticking with the program. Good going Kids and I love the artwork on your building.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 8 years, 10 months ago

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snakiller 8 years, 10 months ago

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Rose Foster 8 years, 10 months ago

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snakiller 8 years, 10 months ago

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Hong_Kong_Phooey 8 years, 10 months ago

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Linda Aikins 8 years, 10 months ago

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Linda Aikins 8 years, 10 months ago

Phooey apparently made a terrible remark about the girl with Lynne and Barbara, and the rest of the removed comments were telling him how inappropriate it was.

I'm so glad they were removed. I just hate that something negative turned up on this wonderful story site.

lunacydetector 8 years, 10 months ago

Thank God the front page wasn't a gigantic photo of Laura Bush on one side and Boog Highberger on the other.

Thank you God!

b_asinbeer 8 years, 10 months ago

Wow, that's a lot of posts removed in a row....funny. :o)

Hong_Kong_Phooey 8 years, 10 months ago

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