The 1889 Foundation and Pennsylvania Rural Arts Alliance (PRAA) are pleased to announce the 2020-2021 recipients of the Creative Health Impact Grant (CHIG) Awards. The awards provide up to $50,000 in 1889 Foundation funds to support arts programs related to health and wellness in Cambria and Somerset Counties.

“Grant applications were due just as the COVID-19 virus pandemic hit our region,” said Rebecca Catelinet of PRAA. “It is more important than ever to have arts and culture to help improve health and wellness in our area, and we are impressed with the creativity and resilience of the organizations that successfully applied.”

This is the fifth year of the 1889 Foundation’s support of the CHIG Awards. The gift comes from foundation funds that have been donor-designated to support arts programs, and all funded activities will take place between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021. The nine sponsoring organizations and their funded programs are as follows:

Community Arts Center of Cambria County
Insightful Art: An outreach initiative that caters to the blind and visually handicapped community by providing Arts4Wellness classes as a means of communication, self-expression and emotional release.

1901 Church
JSO/TGH Up Close: A collaborative partnership between 1901 Church and the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra to begin a chamber series at the Grand Halle allowing disadvantaged students to have the opportunity meet professional musicians, listen to them, talk about their art and hear them perform “up close”. Johnstown-based senior citizens will also be invited to attend. For those who cannot attend the Grand Halle, arrangements will be made for performers to go to them.

Laurel View Village
Music & Memory for All: This program’s success of using music for communication for individuals with dementia will be expanded to include individuals experiencing other types of cognitive loss. Certified staff will be increased and the program will continue to partner with local certified music practitioners.

Laurel View Village
Exercising Heart and Soul: Residents will partner with artists for the purpose of helping the residents create artwork to place along the walking trail to be enjoyed by them and their families.

Laurel Highlands Historical Village
Music for Veterans with PTSD and Other War-Related Issues: Veterans will be given the opportunity to learn musical instruction from a professional group with a public concert finale. Sessions will also include informal conversation to address specific needs the veterans may have and staff will help to find solutions.

Boys and Girls Club of Somerset County
Mindfulness Matters: Mindfulness classes will aim to teach children positive coping mechanisms and how to deal with everyday stress. Each lesson will include how to release emotions through music, movement, dancing, singing, journaling, and speaking. This in turn will help to reduce negative behavior incidences, increase academic performance, and improve attendance.

Mount Aloysius College
Opening Minds Through Art: Promotes social engagement, autonomy, and dignity of people with dementia through small group sessions with trained volunteers. The programs will be held at Laurel View Village and Richland Woods Assisted Living.

Small Town Hope
Backpack Design Project: An artist-led class for ages 7-15 where they will design and create their own wearable backpack. While learning about fashion design, participants will deconstruct old backpacks to see how they are made and for inspiration of their own backpack design.

The Learning Lamp
Positive Behaviors Interventions Initiatives Phase 3: This program will restore children’s social-emotional development by linking a slate of new and more intensive therapeutic arts strategies to establish core social- emotional learning competencies. Projects are hands-on and will include working with clay, painting, and yoga.