The Creative City Collaborative (CCC), which operates the popular Arts Garage in Delray Beach, is the proud winner of the prestigious and highly competitive $100,000 grant from Impact 100 Palm Beach, a local charitable women’s organization. The award was bestowed at the World Theatre at Lynn University where several outstanding non-profits, selected by the women who form the Impact 100 membership, gave impassioned presentations about their organizations’ missions. Drew Tucker, the CCC Director of Education and Community Outreach, spoke on behalf of CCC and its dynamic performing arts academy. “We are honored to have been selected for this grant,” said Tucker. “The two programs that it will fund [will provide at-risk youth] with opportunities to develop their artistic skills while learning positive forms of expression. These programs provide a sense of belonging and self-worth, while engendering the students’ beliefs that they can go beyond their current circumstances and find success.” Tucker called upon the personal experiences of his own youth to illustrate how the arts and music transformed his life and described the positive influences of the existing CCC programs on the lives of their participants. The winning CCC initiatives will continue to provide a safe space for students to escape the labels that others may place on them, and expose at risk youth to mentorship and skill-building educational programs that will empower them to achieve their highest potential. “CCC has been committed to serving the youth of our community and providing a critical outlet for the children in greatest need from the very start,” said Alyona Ushe, Executive Director of the CCC. “The gift from Impact 100 will enable us to grow these programs, and this honor will serve as leverage to continue to expand these programs. We are determined to make the arts available to every young person in our community who needs assistance.” The two-tier educational program utilizes both theater and music to provide youth in the greatest need of the invaluable benefits of culture and the arts. The Drumline Project will work with youth after school and during the summer, when young people are without the structure of a school day and at their most vulnerable, and will provide an intensive program of private music lessons, group instruction and opportunities to collaborate and perform with a high level of musical precision. The Theatre Education Project will work with students in South Palm Beach County public schools and after-school programs. Students will experience the creative and expressive possibilities of music and theatre by attending professional performances and completing an intensive curriculum. These students will expand writing, communication, and critical thinking skills by writing monologues, scenes, and songs and enhance their expressive abilities by performing these pieces.