Please Donate to Support UG Arts Healing Trauma
Support Urban Gateways' mission and efforts to heal trauma through the arts
Creating Art Creating Change - Erin A Project of Urban Gateways
Urban Gateways' mission is to educate and inspire young people by delivering high-quality, accessible arts experiences that advance their personal and academic growth. Urban Gateways delivers high-quality arts programs led by trained and experienced professional artists in music, dance, theater, literary arts, visual arts, and digital media to engage youth in grades pre-K through 12, their teachers, families, and communities. Urban Gateways teaching artists collaborate with school teachers, administrators, and art specialists to develop and deliver engaging, integrated curricula for all types of learners.
Urban Gateways accomplishes its mission by providing multi-disciplinary arts experiences for 70,000
participants in over 220 locations across the Chicago Metropolitan area. Founded in 1961 to enable access
and equity to the arts for youth, and considered a pioneer in the field of arts education, Urban Gateways
has remained a vital part of Chicago's cultural legacy for the last 55 years.
As many of you may know, I have been involved with Urban Gateways since 2012. I truly believe in the work this organization does and the amazing impact Urban Gateways' programming has on the lives and futures of Chicago youth.
More than ever, Chicago youth and their families are inundated with traumatic incidents of violence and loss.
Traumatic exposure to gun violence, domestic abuse, sexual assault, and substance abuse is experienced both
directly and indirectly - as victims, perpetrators, witnesses, and afflicted community members. Urban Gateways
recognizes that it often engages the very same youth and families who have been exposed to trauma and has
witnessed firsthand the importance of becoming a trauma-informed organization. Without intervention, the life
expectancy of youth trauma victims decreases by 20 years.
Of Chicago's 77 community areas, North Lawndale had the second highest number of shootings in 2016 at 282,
and the 5th most homicides at 34. The community has the 4th highest percentage of households below the poverty
line at 43% with the average income at just over $12,000. Over 27% of the residents do not have a high school
diploma and the unemployment rate is over 21%. The area is in desperate need of positive and impactful
experiences. Exposure to gun violence, domestic abuse, sexual assault, and substance abuse is experienced both
directly and indirectly - as victims, perpetrators, witnesses, and afflicted community members. Without
intervention, the life expectancy of youth trauma victims decreases by 20 years. Arts programs are more in-demand than ever before, especially given the prominence of national studies validating the critical need for high-intensity arts programming as a factor for mitigating the impact of trauma, improved academic success, and lifelong learning.
Supported by a $90,000 matching challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Arts Healing Trauma
combines Urban Gateways' expertise in high-quality arts education with the clinical services of UCAN (Uhlich
Children's Advantage Network), a community-based organization that works with North Lawndale youth and
families to recognize the impact of violence and trauma in order to create safety and healing. UCAN's primary
clients are youth in care of the state child welfare system and youth who have been removed from their homes
for reasons of abuse or neglect. This partnership will serve the missions of both organizations by providing access
to quality arts education to underserved youth dealing with trauma, mitigating its effects and empowering them
with the social-emotional tools necessary to make positive changes in their lives.
Every dollar can have an impact, to Arts Healing Trauma, and one of the many, many other Urban Gateways initiatives:
• $10 provides one week of transit for a teen artist apprentice.
• $25 provides script copies for a theater class.
• $50 provides paint supplies for a visual arts residency.
• $100 provides 2 hours of an artist residency for up to 30 students.
• $250 can provide a professional development workshop for school teachers on arts
• $500 can provide a full set of arts supplies for a school-wide visual arts residency.
• $1,000 can provide an educational and artistic live performance by one of our touring
groups in music, dance or theater for 500 children.