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October 09, 2018

Highlighting Arts at the Y

dwc classOctober is National Arts and Humanities Month and since 1999, the Arts Branch of the YMCA has worked to enrich lives through education in the visual, literary and performing arts. Music, visual arts, creative writing, dance, and many other programs are available for all ages and experience levels at our Y branches and in a variety of locations throughout Onondaga County.

So far, in 2018, the Arts Branch has provided nearly 200 scholarships for arts lessons to area youth. Additionally, over 900 elementary and middle school students in the city of Syracuse work with the YMCA every day, in arts-focused after-school programs aimed at enhancing creativity and boosting academic achievement.

One of those programs is the YMCA's Downtown Writers Center. The DWC is the Central New York region's only community center for the literary arts, hosting a wide variety of programs and events for wordsmiths and bookworms along with creative writing workshops and readings by established and emerging poets and writers.

Each year, the DWC recognizes the best books published by CNY authors through the YMCA CNY Book Awards. Awards are currently presented in poetry, fiction, nonfiction and children’s books. The upcoming awards ceremony on November 8th will be celebrating a record number of local authors. To attend the event and learn more, please visit: http://ycny.org/dwccny-book-awards.html

The Downtown Writers Center also houses the Young Authors Academy, a program for 6th-12th graders with a passion for creative writing. Students participate in small group instruction, led by professional writers, and experience a positive and accepting learning environment where they grow both artistically and personally, developing their talents and collaborating with peers who share their interest in the creative arts.

The program has been generously funded by our donors and partners to include Y members and students in the Syracuse City School District at no cost and affordable for all others. The Young Authors Academy was recently featured by local PBS affiliate WCNY as part of The Great American Read series:


The Y is so much more than just a gym and swim. Our arts programming provides avenues for people of all ages, abilities and means to explore their creativity. You can learn more by visiting http://ycny.org/ arts.html

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Tags: arts
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