Moving Arts Española Receives Grant to Expand Youth Services
Children taking a bow at Moving Arts Española

Moving Arts Española, a community-based nonprofit committed to providing cultural arts education and meal programs to the youth of the Rio Grande Valley, announced this week that it has met the $100,000 goal to secure a matching grant from Thoma Foundation. The Thoma Foundation recognizes and supports pivotal initiatives in the arts, providing grants to nonprofit organizations whose innovative projects and original ideas will advance scholarship in the arts.

The grant award was dedicated toward a 2,400-square-foot expansion at the Moving Arts Española facility on Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo. With this grant, Moving Arts Española is building a new Digital Media Lab set to open in spring 2022 offering video and cinema production, editing, music production, and culinary arts along with career counseling and comprehensive behavioral health services. The new Digital Media Lab allows Moving Arts Española to serve young adults, 13 – 25 years of age, who have graduated from the youth arts programs.

“For Moving Arts Española, $200,000 is transformational and has given us an amazing opportunity to teach skills that help students grow into careers they love,” said Salvador Ruiz, executive director and co-founder of Moving Arts Española. “This is truly a community effort and we couldn’t be more grateful to all who helped and donated. Most of the money we raised came from the people of Northern New Mexico and those who want to support the kids who live here.” Young dancer at Moving Arts Española

The team at Moving Arts Española is consulting with industry professionals in designing the Digital Media Lab and coordinating the curriculum to align with Española High School and Northern New Mexico College media programs. In designing the Behavioral Health Center, Moving Arts Española is partnering with the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council as well as a network of providers and support services.

“We are thrilled with the community support and the Thoma Foundation. At the same time, our operating budget for our current programming needs attention, too,” said Ruiz. “Our work in offering comprehensive art, dance and theater programming in spring, summer, and fall relies on donations and because of COVID, we’re adapting to new challenges.”

In 2019, Moving Arts Española was recognized as a CNN Hero for its award-winning model as one of America’s most visionary art centers for youth development. Now in its 14th year, the nonprofit organization is a guiding force in the lives of many Northern New Mexico’s youth. Alumni are continuing their arts education and becoming teachers, art therapists, community leaders, and even a prima ballerina. Over 50 Moving Arts Española graduates have gone on to enroll in New Mexico School for the Arts.

Donations to the Moving Arts Española student programming are tax deductible and can be mailed to: Moving Arts Española, PO Box 505, Velarde, NM 87582. For additional information about giving opportunities, including grants and corporate sponsorships, you may contact Salvador Ruiz by email at [email protected]

This article was posted by Cheryl Fallstead

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