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Jersey City Theater Center and The Spot JC Foundation Receive Grant from Hudson Partnership CMO

Theater company and Greenville-based foundation partner to establish a new youth program

Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC), together with The Spot JC Foundation, was recently awarded an $80,000 grant last week from Hudson Partnership Care Management Organization (CMO).

Funding came via The Children’s System of Care (CSOC) in New Jersey and will seed SPOTLIGHT, a new neighborhood arts and youth development program for at-risk students ages 13-21 in Hudson County, New Jersey.

Ibn Sharif Shakoor, co-founder and executive director of The Spot JC Foundation, said, “Low-income communities with complex racial disparities are far too often a pipeline to prison. This grant enables us to change these outcomes through creative experiences, employment, and mentorship.”

JCTC artistic director Olga Levina adds, “Through SPOTLIGHT, we are honored to encourage the next generation of artists and help develop their voices in a safe and supportive environment. We are grateful to Hudson Partnership CMO for their role in helping at-risk children in life through partnering with arts and other educational organizations.”

Award monies will support an 18-week after-school program, running between November 2021 and March 2022, focused on three artistic areas: photography, film production, and theatre. During bi-weekly sessions, youth will pair with professional artists who will mentor and guide them through the technical processes of each art form and help students build their unique artistic vision. In addition, students will engage in the arts through field trips to galleries, theatre and dance productions, and other cultural events.

SPOTLIGHT, which includes a stipend for participation, will culminate in performances and exhibitions of students’ original work at White Eagle Hall in Jersey City. The event will be staffed at all levels, from box office to technical production, by youth.

About Hudson Partnership Care Management Organization (CMO)

Hudson Partnership Care Management Organization (CMO) is a private not-for-profit agency that provides care coordination for Hudson County youth ages 3-21 who may be struggling with: mental health or emotional issues, challenging behaviors, substance use, juvenile justice involvement, or developmental disabilities. The Children’s System of Care (CSOC) is a division of NJ’s Department of Children and Families (DCF).

About Jersey City Theater Center

Founded in 2006, Jersey City Theater Center is a nonprofit 501c3 arts organization committed to inspiring conversations about important issues of our times through the arts.
About The Spot JC Foundation Founded in 2020, The Spot JC Foundation, a subsidiary of The Spot JC, uses the arts as a coping strategy to deal with trauma and everyday life in the Greenville community of Jersey City.

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