The 1889 Foundation and Pennsylvania Rural Arts Alliance (PRAA) are pleased to announce the 2019-2020 recipients of the Creative Health Impact Grant (CHIG) Awards. This year the awards provide over $40,000 in 1889 Foundation funds to support arts programs related to health and wellness in Cambria and Somerset Counties.

“Our partnership with Pennsylvania Rural Arts Alliance allows us to directly benefit many individuals through the programs developed by these community organizations,” said Susan M. Mann, president of 1889 Foundation. “Becky Catelinet, executive director of PRAA, does a wonderful job coordinating and managing the grant process and we look forward to working with her to continue this vital funding.”

This is the fourth year of the 1889 Foundation’s support of the CHIG Awards. All funded activities will take place between July 1, 2019, and June 20, 2020.

The 15 sponsoring organizations and their funded programs are as follows:

Art Expression, Inc.: Arts Enrichment Workshops at The Christian Home of Johnstown. Art Expression, Inc. will conduct a series of arts workshops at The Christian Home of Johnstown. Participants will be teens served by The Christian Home. These workshops will use art as a therapeutic tool to learn better social and emotional skills as well as provide a creative outlet for coping with personal trauma.

Boys and Girls Club of Somerset County: Ukulele Lessons for Children and Senior Citizens. The project will provide ukulele lessons for children in the Boys and Girls Club and Laurel View Retirement Village will transport seniors to the Boys & Girls Club to participate in some of the sessions. These sessions will provide children and seniors the important physical, mental, social and emotional benefits that come with playing an instrument. The two groups will then present a final performance for the public.

Cambria County Library: Teens Connect and Create! This program will provide life tools and experiences using arts, health and wellness to teen students with developmental disabilities.

Cambria Heights School District: Folk Music for Third Graders. The project will give third graders exposure to a wide variety of instruments. In addition to the in-school music classes, after-school sessions for older elementary students will also be offered. A concert will be held for the public at the end of the project.

Camp PARC (People Always Responding with Compassion): Where Everyday American Heroes Shine. Camp PARC is a summer camp experience for children, youth and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Their funded project is a themed arts program/performance that is the culmination of the final camp session of the summer. The performance is titled “The Big Night Show” which offers the campers a chance to perform on stage, either solo, alongside their counselors, or in a group.

Carrolltown Public Library: Sensory Friendly Story Hour at Carrolltown Library: The library will provide a sensory-friendly story hour to children experiencing difficulty with sensory and social adaptation.

Community Arts Center of Cambria County: Insightful Art with Sensory Exhibition. The Community Arts Center of Cambria County will offer Arts4Wellness classes as a means of communication, self-expression, and/or emotional release for the blind & visually handicapped community. An exhibition of student artwork will be held at the culmination of the program.

Flood City Youth Fitness Academy: Exercise the Summer, Exercise the Arts Youth Summer Program: This program provides youth in underprivileged communities the opportunity to learn to play instruments, read music and have vocal lessons, and participate in a musical performance.

Gallery on Gazebo: Connecting Through the Arts: The project will involve individuals from 12 neighborhoods within the City of Johnstown to engage them in conversation, record their stories, and create works of arts from those stories that relate to their neighborhoods.

Laurel View Village: Music and Memory Program. This year’s grant will allow Laurel View to expand this successful program, which makes customized iPods available to residents of Laurel View Village’s dementia unit. Each iPod is loaded with music that is significant and important to each resident.

The Learning Lamp: Positive Behavior Interventions (PBI) Initiative. This successful program will allow The Learning Lamp to continue providing therapeutic art strategies to at-risk children at after-school outreach sites, helping students to develop critical social and emotional learning skills.

Mount Aloysius College: Expressive Arts in Cambria and Somerset Counties. Mount Aloysius College will continue its Opening Minds through Art program at Laurel View Village and Richland Woods Assisted Living. Opening Minds through Art is an intergenerational program for people with dementia. This grant will also allow expansion of the Mount Aloysius Expressive Art program PEN Open Art Studio at the Peer Empowerment Network Drop-In Center (PEN).

Portage Area School District: Ukulele, Student Bands, and Jamming in Portage. Musical workshops for elementary students, chorus students, band coaching and jam sessions leading to a project finale public concert.

Small Town Hope: Uplifting Arts. Small Town Hope will provide interactive art construction classes and preschool art classes that support emotional and social health through art and creative expression.

Turkeyfoot Valley School District: Ukulele Lessons for a School District with No Music Program. Turkeyfoot Valley School District will provide ukulele instruction to elementary students, provide community and student workshops to play and learn about music, and conclude the program with a public concert.