Arts, Culture & Humanities
Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Art in the Community provides Lafayette secondary students with structured opportunities to use public art as a vehicle for social change. With the support of professional artists, participating students acquire fundamental skills while developing public art pieces that seek to generate awareness about community issues. At least two Art in the Community workshops are held annually.
(EC)^2 relaunched Art in the Community in June 2017, when eight middle and high school students developed a travelling mural to generate awareness about Lafayette's community assets. Participants, who formally unveiled their mural in July 2017, indicated that they acquired key artistic skill, as well as "how to better work with others, how to promote a project, how art is subjective but can also promote a cause, and how Lafayette is home to many protective factors." One hundred percent of participants expressed interest in maintaining their involvement in the program.
Ethnic/Racial Minorities - General
Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
A City of Lafayette initiative, the Lafayette Peer Empowerment Project (LPEP) seeks to promote student retention and access to post-secondary education and employment among Lafayette secondary students. With the support of local high school seniors and alumni, who serve as paid facilitators and mentors, participants develop projects to improve upon existing practices and the situations in which they find themselves. LPEP meets as an after-school program during the academic year and an intensive, four-week program during the month of June.
Per post assessments and interviews conducted by a CU Boulder doctoral student in June 2016, participants indicated that the Lafayette Peer Empowerment Project fostered strong relationships with their peers and staff members; promoted self-efficacy; and provided a vehicle to work across difference and acquire the communication skills needed to discuss social and political issues with a variety of stakeholders.
Of those who completed a post-survey, 84% of the respondents agreed that they got to know someone from a different ethnic group and nearly 100% agreed that the program provided a safe place, where participants' ideas were valued. There were also notable gains (9.4% increase) when measuring self-efficacy and other essential public skills.
Children Only (5 - 14 years)
In addition to exploring the role that the arts continue to play when addressing social issues, elementary school students develop art projects to generate awareness about issues that directly impact themselves and the greater community. In the process, students acquire key public and artistic skills, build community, and recognize their inherent capacity to create change.
One hundred percent of K-5 students, who participated in (EC)^2 programs during the 2016-2017 academic year, indicated that they had the power to create positive change in their community in response to their participation. Students also indicated that they acquired artistic skills, were more equipped to make positive decisions, and possessed key leadership skills at the conclusion of the academic semester/year.
According to one parent, My third grader thoroughly enjoyed Dance and Art for Social Change. It is age appropriate and fun (which is important to this tween.) [My daughter] doesn't like to be part of anything patronizing or not filled with interesting content. As a single mother...I appreciate having such excellent, meaningful and free programming to extend her weekday. She really has taken pride in having both of these programs reaffirm topics and issues we hear on NPR and we discuss as a family."
Mental Health, Substance Abuse
The Empowerment Center of East County serves as the community hub for Lafayette's Communities That Care (CTC) project. A five-year, citizen-led initiative, CTC seeks to empower community members to generate local responses and solutions to reduce youth substance abuse and address related issues. The Communities That Care project is housed within the Boulder County Public Health Community Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) Program and supported by funds allocated by Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE).
Lafayette's Communities That Care project was formally launched in November 2016. A 42-person community board has been formed as has a key leader board comprising local leaders. Local data has been collected and analyzed to guide future actions.