WhyArts Receives 2017 LFF Grant to Support Artist Residencies

OMAHA – WhyArts is the recipient of a 2017 grant from the Lincoln Financial Foundation for its work with underserved audiences.

The funding will support two eight-month WhyArts residencies – one at the Omaha Public Schools (OPS) Transition Program and the other at the J.P. Lord School. The OPS Transition Program serves students with disabilities ages 19-21 who demonstrate continuing needs in the areas of employment, independent living and continuing education following the completion of 12th grade at a traditional high school. The J.P. Lord School, located near the University of Nebraska Medical Center campus, serves students ages five to 21 who have multiple disabilities.

“The Lincoln Financial Foundation looks forward to partnering with WhyArts to increase access to the arts for people of all ages, economic situations, abilities and ethnicities, and support organizations to fill gaps where economic challenges have resulted,” said Deb Washler, program officer for the Lincoln Financial Foundation. “The program at J.P. Lord School is a perfect fit for this.”

WhyArts artists will work closely with the staffs at each location to design specific arts activities that further the goals established for each student. “We believe the arts are an incredibly powerful means of communication for the nonstandard learner, and this funding will allow our artist team to help unlock the creative potential of these underserved groups,” said WhyArts Director Carolyn O. Anderson.

WhyArts, founded in 1990, is dedicated to providing Omaha’s underserved populations with access to inclusive quality arts programming. The organization contracts with professional teaching artists to conduct workshops, residences and activities in the visual arts, theatre, dance/movement, music, the spoken word, literature, storytelling and animation. It also builds original arts programming for nonprofits, schools, social service agencies and others that enriches their missions and curriculums, and advocates for the arts by sharing best practices at local, regional and national trainings and conferences.

For more information, visit www.whyartsinc.org.