The cafeteria at Cardozo Middle School (CMS) was turned into an art gallery on Thursday, Dec. 12. There, from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m., Project A.C.T.I.O.N. (Afterschool Care Together In Our Neighborhoods), Center for Human Services, Friday Night Live, and Peer Recovery Art Project collaborated to bring Photovoice Exhibit to Riverbank.
The Cardozo Middle School students Photovoice Project consisted of making people aware of underage drinking in the community. The art show was free and the entire community was welcomed. There were over 50 people that attended the event and light refreshments were served. Peer Recovery Art Project from Modesto displayed art inside the cafeteria and brought musical guitarist Funky Tim from Lodi to entertain the guests.
“Peer Recovery Art Project, Inc. board members Ken McCall, Carol Jo Hargreaves and program coordinator, Betty Barnes, as well as special projects manager, Linda Hornsby-Black continue to push for new and innovative ways to end stigma and help underserved, isolated populations in our region by providing safe havens for artistic expression,” stated John Black, Chief Executive Officer Peer Recovery Art Project.
They also brought a mobile art exhibit to share art that was created by youth in the area. The 1974 International Grumman Olsen Step Van serving as home to the exhibit was a Merced County SWAT Bicycle Explorers outreach van for doing community education before being purchased for the art program.
The partners that help sponsor the traveling art show are Stanislaus Magazine, Wells Fargo Bank, Modesto Toyota, TSM Insurance, Modesto Chamber of Commerce and Schneider Signs. The mobile art gallery makes trips to schools within this area to expose students to what an art gallery is and spark their artistic imaginations.
“We hope more local business entities will take interest in our vision and ask how they too can support this organization,” said Black.
CHS Friday Night Live is a program through the Center for Human Services that provide youth in surrounding communities’ opportunities for community service and prevention of alcohol and drug use among teenagers.
Cardozo students worked on a project that focused on underage drinking in the community. Students took pictures to depict how the youth gains access to alcohol in the City of Riverbank.
Teens between the ages of 12 to 17 were asked to cast their vote on the top three photos that were enlarged and on display at the event.
“This will act as an assessment tool in helping us decide what focus our project should take,” said Angela Bailey-Gabrie, CMS, RHS Project Action ASP Advisor.
“The highlight for me was watching the youth’s efforts be put into motion as they work towards addressing underage drinking in their community,” stated Liz Elizondo, Program Coordinator for the Center for Human Services.
Black expressed that the biggest highlight was meeting all the people from Riverbank and the many youth that approached him and stated that they (Peer Recovery Art Project) made the event much better and asked if they would return. To that Black answered “Yes, we will be back.”