Downtown Aurora Visual Arts receives prestigious National Arts and Humanities award for its work with youth


Friends of DAVA,

I am writing to you from our nation’s capital with some very exciting news to share ⎯ DAVA was awarded one of 12 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards for excellence in art programs that open new pathways to creativity, expression, and achievement! I wrote to you last week that we had been selected as one of 50 finalists, and after today’s ceremony, we are so proud to be taking home our nation’s highest honor highlighting the important work of our Job Training in the Arts program.

Our experience in D.C. has been incredible! Not only did we have the honor of meeting First Lady Michelle Obama when she presented us with the award, but we thoroughly enjoyed meeting  the 11 other arts organizations that were also recognized for their commitment to creative youth development and offering our youth access to a world of possibilities. 
 
Along with me on this journey has been Boris Cochajil, a 13-year-old young man who has been a DAVA student for three years. Boris is incredibly proud to have accepted this award on behalf of the 1,400 young people we serve each year ⎯ and is also beyond thrilled to have visited the White House! 

Today has been a true milestone for DAVA and I am absolutely delighted to be able to share this news with each of you, and remind you all how much we appreciate your support. Without you, we could not provide our important programming to urban youth, and simultaneously develop a model program that we look forward to sharing with like-minded organizations across the country. We are so proud of the young people in our Job Training programs whose ideas make our programs sing, and today we celebrate their creativity, their dreams, and their conviction that the arts are an indisputably positive force in the vitality of our communities.
 
Thank you again for your support and we look forward to sharing more good news with you as our programs continue to develop and achieve success.
 
All my best,

Susan Jenson

DAVA Executive Director