Rapid City, S.D. (KELO) — Pennington County is receiving a $50,000 grant to expand arts programming for at-risk kids.
It’s one of five locations in the U-S to receive funding in partnership with the Just Us Mural Project, or JUMP.
Inside the Dahl Arts Center you’ll find work from local artists. Soon, many of those same artists will be working with local kids.
“Each mural will be a six week project that the students will work on. They’ll work together with the artist to create the design, so everybody will have their say in what goes into the mural, and then they’ll paint the mural.” Education Director Melissa Nelson said.
Together, they’ll create 16 murals. The final piece will be complete by March of 2025.
“The beauty of this project is you don’t actually have to be an artist. You might not have ever had much art outside of school. So these, when I say find the artists , that’s our instructors who will guide youth through this process of creating art,” Director of Diversion Kim Morsching said.
Being one of five locations that will participate in JUMP. From receiving this grant, it’ll provide a lot of these at-risk youths with the ability to learn a new skill and maybe work through some things that they’re going through, to move forward in life.
“So then you have to do the actual thing, like getting ready for it. You have to hire your artists, you have to come up with your plans, you have to do all the preparatory work. So that’s where we are in the process now.” Morsching Said
This opportunity can bring these kids together in a different kind of setting for a one-of-a-kind experience.
“Art does some interesting things when you’re in a classroom full of students and they’re all of a sudden interacting with each other. They’re not on their phones, they’re interacting with each other to create something together,” Nelson said.
Work will get started right away, as the next step for this project is to find local artists to participate and mentor these kids on this journey.