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Merging therapy and art to help LGBTQ+ youth in Palm Beach County

Posted at 11:30 AM, Jan 02, 2022

Calling all youth in the LGBTQ+ community.

Starting Tuesday, art classes are hoping to bring teens and tweens together to create some works of art while focusing on their mental health.

It's called Art Club and it will be a free, eight-week series for LGBTQ+ middle school youth.

Sessions will be on Tuesdays from 6-8 p.m., Jan. 4 - Feb. 22, at the Lighthouse ArtCenter at 373 Tequesta Drive, Tequesta.

"We have seen a need for LGBTQ+ youth and also we noticed that there wasn't any support for that population in the northern part of the county," said Hilary Jacques the director of the Child and Family Center at Center for Child Counseling.

The goal is is to bring like-minded youth together in a welcoming creative space.

This in thanks to a partnership with the Center for Child Counseling and the Lighthouse ArtCenter will also have a mental health therapist chatting and interacting with students that may need to reach out.

"We've seen an increase in depression anxiety suicidal adiation in children and teens getting younger and younger bullying contributes to that. And I think with LGBTQ+ population it's just more difficult. I think it's a great way to express anything one might be thinking or feeling. I think it's a safe way to do that," said Jacques.

This is the first partnership with the two organizations and the art sessions will be a mixed medium.

"I really love watching kids create something unique to themselves. Everything that they do and the imagination, we can give them instructions to do something but then they take it into a whole other direction and make it this grand project that is very inspiring to themselves as well as other students in the classroom," said Jeni Licata, the executive director at Lighthouse Artcenter.

The first class is Tuesday, January 2 and the course will accept 8 students.

To apply, click here.

This partnership is supported with support from the Max & Marjorie Fisher Foundation.

This is a matching grant of up to a million dollars for their 'Art for All' campaign.

Art Club is 1 program out of 10 that will be funding outreach programs providing more art for the community and different age groups.

Long term goals with with Art Club is to expand its classes to other demographics as well as have an exhibition with creations from their student.