Arts in Reach relieves teen social isolation

PORTSMOUTH — When Jess asked the Arts In Reach staff if she could keep her camera off during the first day of a week-long virtual acting program, she was quiet and unsure of herself. As the week progressed, so did Jess. She shared her talents in a show-and-tell and played the lead role in a reader’s theater show. At the end of the week, she volunteered to direct her peers in a final cheer.

Over the February vacation week, Arts In Reach offered two arts-based programs for teenage girls and gender expansive youth. Artventures included 6th and 7th graders, and Performance Intensive engaged 8th-12th graders. Both virtual programs took place Monday through Friday for 90 minutes, involved mentoring with local professional artists, and culminated in an end-of-week celebration of participants’ creative work.

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