Southwest Solutions receives arts grant for adult learning lab


Southwest Solutions is implementing an innovative project that integrates the arts and adult literacy programming, thanks to a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.


The project is called “Work of Art. No! Art as Work.” It is designed to assist and inspire participants at Southwest Solutions’ Adult Learning Lab by emphasizing the importance of creative thinking in academic and career achievement. The Lab provides GED preparation, English language classes, and basic reading, math and computer training. It is located in southwest Detroit across from Clark Park.


The MCACA grant is for $7,250 and it funds a series of workshops and events conducted by three acclaimed Detroit artists: multi-media artist Vito Valdez, musician and storyteller Robert Jones, and writer Peter Markus. The series kicks off in January 2016.


“All forms of art – visual, music, written – add to the vibrancy of our neighborhoods in Detroit and provide an outlet for creative expression,” said State Representative Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit). “I applaud Southwest Solutions for their important work to provide an opportunity for residents to participate in these workshops and continue the strong tradition of creativity in southwest Detroit!”


The workshops are for students in the Adult Learning Lab, political asylum seekers from Freedom House Detroit, and participants in the Southwest Solutions’ workforce development programs assisting homeless veterans and the chronically unemployed. A free, public concert featuring Rev. Robert Jones takes place on Tuesday, February 23 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at St. Anthony’s Church, 1750 25th St. in Detroit.


Southwest Solutions was selected as a grant recipient through a MCACA peer review process conducted by panel of in-state and out-of-state arts and culture professionals. The organization was among 559 applicants competing for arts program funding for 2016. A portion of the grant money comes from the National Endowment for the Arts.


“Our neighborhood revitalization efforts include engaging the community in the excellent arts and cultural programming available in southwest Detroit,” said Tim McGorey, Adult Learning Lab Program Manager. “The MCACA grant will enable us to bring the arts into the lives of visitors, as well as the people we serve.”


MCACA grants require matching funds from other private and public sources. A complete list of grant awards around the state is available by contacting MCACA at 517.241.4011, or by visiting the Michigan Economic Development Corporation website at:

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