For Immediate Release
Contact: Sai Vang, Center for Hmong Arts and Talent
(651) 603-6971,


Center for Hmong Arts and Talent chosen as one of 101 Twin Cities’ organizations receiving funding for high-quality learning opportunities beyond the classroom.

Saint Paul, MN (July 10, 2012) – Center for Hmong Arts and Talent (CHAT) is pleased to announce that it has received a $25,000 grant from Youthprise, an intermediary in the out-of-school time field. The award was one of 101 grants totaling $2.1 million approved by the Youthprise board to Twin Cities’ organizations serving youth for out-of-school time programming.

CHAT will use the grant to provide quality arts education, activities, and opportunities for 200 Hmong American children and youth in its Arts Saves Us (ASU) and Youth Leadership Group (YLG) programs. ASU provides free arts classes and transportation as an alternative to out-of-school time activities. Each class is taught within a safe and comfortable atmosphere where youth develop a sense of identity, community, and discipline through creative self-expression. Each class culminates with a public showcase. YLG uses theater arts as a vehicle to foster leadership skills, encourage civic engagement and heighten expectations for post-secondary success. In partnership with Mu Performing Arts, the youth research a critical issue and produce a theater piece performed for the public. Both programs will convene in September 2012 and is open for youth between the ages of 11 to 20.

“We are thrilled to be chosen by Youthprise. This is an exciting opportunity for CHAT to continue to provide high-quality youth arts programming and expanding access for youth to participate in learning opportunities outside of the classroom.” said Sai Vang, Executive Director.

“Youthprise exists to accelerate leadership and innovation in the out-of-school time field,” explained Youthprise president Wokie Weah. “Making sure our youth have great learning opportunities during the more than 2,000 hours they have outside of school each year is a top priority. We want to see that all Minnesota youth thrive – no matter their background or circumstances. The achievement gap as the result of an opportunity gap and a key task for Youthprise is to fill that gap.”

Youthprise’s grants to Expand Access to Quality Learning Opportunities are one-year investments to 101 organizations in the metropolitan area. A full list of organizations receiving funding is available at Grantees will form a learning community that will advance the out-of-school time field in Minnesota by leading efforts to improve program quality, expand access to a greater number of youth, promote racial equity in the out-of-school time field and mobilize communities around a shared policy agenda for youth.

MORE on Youthprise: Youthprise was founded in 2010 by The McKnight Foundation to increase the quality, accessibility, sustainability and innovation of opportunities for learning beyond the classroom. Youthprise works collaboratively with municipalities, funders, policymakers, program providers, youth and parents to ensure that all Minnesota youth, especially young people who are traditionally underserved, have access to affordable, quality learning opportunities during out-of-school time. For more information on Youthprise, visit

MORE on CHAT: CHAT grew out of Pom Siab Hmoob Theatre (PSHT), the first Hmong theatre company in the world. In order to serve more Hmong artists, PSHT changed its name in 1998 to the Center for Hmong Arts and Talent and expanded its reach into six artistic disciplines: visual, theater, literary, music, multi-media, and traditional Hmong arts. CHAT nurtures and develops Hmong artists to strengthen and build the community. We improve the quality of lives by creating a substantial Hmong arts community with a network of professional artists and a supportive audience. Learn more at

# # #