Project Jericho receives continued funding

Project Jericho, the Clark State Community College youth outreach program, will receive continued funding for two years of services from the Clark County Department of Job and Family Services.

The program supports area youth and their families through various art-related experiences such as its annual summer art camp, family art camp and various public displays and performances in the community, which this funding will go to support. Project Jericho’s works can be seen all over Springfield including the Rose City Mural as well as murals on the Springfield Family YMCA and Clark County Solid Waste District buildings.

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The Clark County Commissioners approved $266,419.43 in funding for the organization in July.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought a challenge that program director Lauren Houser and staff are meeting in alternate ways, offering virtual open studio sessions and supplying participants with their own art supplies as an example.

“We are working with our diverse and dynamic teaching artists to find ways for them to develop programming opportunities that can be administered through virtual platforms for now,” she said. “We will continue to evaluate our options to safely provide in-person programming in small groups throughout the year. We understand that our programming has to look different for the time being.”

Unfortunately, two of the group’s collaborative public fall events with National Trail Parks and Recreation District – Chalkfest and Project Scare-A-Crow – have been canceled due to social distancing concerns, but plans to present these again in 2021.

Project Jericho added another unique mural this month, partnering with the Conscious Connect to create a colorful geometric design on a basketball court in a small park at 1615 Woodward Ave. It involved around 20 of its students, observing social distancing protocols and wearing masks while creating the art.

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Houser added they are pursuing a balance of in-person and virtual opportunities to meet needs.

“We know this year will be unlike any other year in the 21 years of Project Jericho’s history, and we know that the performing and visual arts are needed now more than ever,” Houser said. “We can’t abandon our families when they need us the most. We will follow all the guidelines, while being resilient and creative in finding ways to have meaningful art experiences for our families.”

Project Jericho is a program of Clark State Community College supported through funding from Clark County Department of Job and Family Services, Clark County Juvenile Court, the Ohio Arts Council, the Turner Foundation and private contributions.

For more information on Project Jericho, visit its Facebook page.

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