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Project Art-Reach

Published April 20, 2011

Project Art-Reach


“Someplace Else” at Capital City Youth Services is a shelter for kids
between the ages of 10 and 17. Foster youth, runaways, and kids having
problems at home all find their way to CCYS for a safe place to sleep and
someone to talk to about their life circumstances. Thousands of youth have
used CCYS services over the 18 years they have been open, and thousands
more will come through their doors when they find themselves alone, or without a
place to call home.

Project Art-Reach is a collaboration between CCYS, the Youth and Family
Services Network, and some of the most accomplished and talented artists in
the Big Bend area. The objective of Project Art-Reach is to inspire and support
these young people and the caring adults who serve them by enhancing their
physical space with original fine art.

It is common and understandable during a crisis to focus on immediate
needs and concerns. The staff at CCYS cook nutritious meals, take kids to
school, teach essential life skills, make medical and dental appointments, and
screen for signs of abuse, neglect, human trafficking, and mental health issues.
When things are going well, they have time to play games or watch a movie with
their transient guests, but the job demands a no-nonsense vigilance and a long
list of to-do’s.

The work of Project Art-Reach transforms this often clinical environment
into unique spaces of color, imagination, and warmth. Each of 8 bedrooms and
a classroom has been redesigned and enhanced by a local artist rendering the
space into someplace else with Someplace Else. One room is re-imagined
as a tree house sanctuary, another depicts scenes of a balmy New Orleans,
promising a life beyond this temporary stop. The Wakulla river, resplendent in
sunset golds and pinks, flows from the wall of another. Each room is as distinct
and unique as the youth who will find refuge within these walls.