NOMADstudio receives 10K Challenge America grant

ST. PETERSBURG —The nonprofit NOMADstudio (NOMAD) has been approved for a $10,000 Challenge America grant to support their Justice Studio project. This project is the in-house art studio program at two juvenile detention facilities in the Tampa Bay area.

Overall, the National Endowment for the Arts has approved 1,187 grants totaling $27.3 million in the first round of fiscal year 2020 funding to support arts projects across the country. NOMADstudio is one of 145 Challenge America grants included in the NEA’s recent national announcement.

The Challenge America funding category offers support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to populations that have limited access to the arts due to geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Each grant is for a fixed amount of $10,000 and requires a minimum $10,000 cost share/match.

“The arts are at the heart of our communities, connecting people through shared experiences and artistic expression,” said Arts Endowment chairman Mary Anne Carter. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support projects like Justice Studio.”

Supported entirely by donations, Justice Studio began when artists from NOMAD learned that youth in detention had no free access to writing, drawing or art materials during their time in custody. The NOMAD team agreed that detained youth are especially in need of an outlet for creative expression.

“Detained youth have school Monday through Friday, but art is not part of the curriculum. We believe all children, especially those in detention, need an outlet for creative expression, and we are encouraged that the National Endowment for the Arts feels the same. We are honored that they have identified Justice Studio as a program to support with a Challenge America grant.”

Three days a week NOMAD provides the tools, supplies, and guidance for detained youth to work on independent and group art projects. The NOMAD team—art therapist, teaching artists, visiting artists—along with a facility staff member, work together in a small group setting with youth currently detained and/or committed by the State of Florida’s Department of Juvenile Justice.

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