Strategic Artists Growth Initiative

at Friendship Court Community Center

Downtown Charlottesville's affordable housing community

The Strategic Artists Growth Initiative builds relationships that use expressive arts to support community.

The vision is well-attended art and cultural based community circle events available for Friendship Court residents in which to share their thoughts, process past events, and compile desires for their future.

The mission of the initiative is to educate and prepare youth for transformation. This transformation refers to general life milestones and challenges, and also specifically to the redevelopment of the homes of the Friendship Court Community.

I started this initiative to focus and structure my experience at Friendship Court. I am finding my best offering as a liaison between Charlottesville artists and the patrons of Friendship Court Community Center. I teach and plan educational and arts residencies, collaborate with artists and arts organizations, organize curriculum and culminating events, and artistically direct dynamic group improv events and presentations, that are forming the foundational structure of the circle "tool" spoken of in the vision.

Also part of our mission is to create opportunities for Friendship Court youth to visit nurturing locations in and around Charlottesville.

I believe that investment in using art to process community members' emotional, spiritual, and social challenges will provide the Friendship Court residents a more successful transition to living within the development's vision of mixed-income housing. This benefits the residents, as well as their future new neighbors, their current neighbors, and the city of Charlottesville on the whole.

Funding Program

Saman DashtiProfessor Macaco