November 11, 2010

It has been an almost overwhelmingly positive week for DFT. Two new students are interested in the Adult Acting Studio (bringing our numbers to eight) so we’re talking about continuing after this session ends next week. I was able to contract with several new “In the Neighborhood” programs.

And yesterday morning Mandy at Urban Ministries of Durham (UMD) and I met to confirm, not just my continuing with a partnership pilot program (Arts in Community, ARC) that we previewed last month, and not only that we’ve scheduled a next visit in November for a DFT storytelling performance and workshop with families living at the UMD shelter, but even more than this, we’ve agreed to develop a grant together for a 1/4 time Arts in Community (ARC) program of visual and performing arts at the shelter beginning in the summer or fall of 2011. Here’s the program description as included now on our In the Neighborhoods page:

The Arts in Community (ARC) program is a new project of the Urban Ministries of Durham in partnership with Jennifer Justice, director of Durham Family Theatre. ARC’S purpose is to use the performing and visual arts to counter the devastating mental and emotional impacts of isolation related to poverty and homelessness, better enabling families and individuals to attain more sustainable lives.

The goal of our 2010-2011 pilot ARC program is to bring a storyteller/educator to the families living in UMD’S shelter for nine monthly 40-minute performance/workshops, culminating in a family storytelling event.

At the successful completion of our pilot program year, ARC’S long-term vision will strengthen the UMD Journey Family Program, using interactive performance and visual arts to help families housed at the UMD homeless shelter to secure a more stable future through the consistent support of crucial social and educational skills. The ARC program also supports UMD’S goal of forming bonds with community organizations that will provide stabilizing connections for homeless families seeking to establish sustainable lives.

For more details on the ARC program long-term vision, and/or if you are interested in supporting ARC as donor, please contact Jenny at

Warmly, Jenny


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