In order to accomplish the goals outlined above, CHAT is building capacity in the arts so that Hmong American voices can be heard, documented and shared with others through the following programs:
1) Youth Arts Program introduces, teaches and engages Hmong youth in art activities that foster creative expression and leadership skills, and nurtures healthy self-development
2) Navigate offers development and advancement opportunities for adult Hmong American artists and simultaneously builds audiences to support the work.
Art Saves Us (ASU)
Provides free art classes and transportation to Hmong youth, ages 8–19, as a productive, engaging alternative for out-of-school activities. ASU offers artistic instruction within a safe and comfortable atmosphere where youth develop a sense of identity, community and discipline through creative self-expression. ASU sessions last for 12-15 weeks and each class culminates with a public showcase where youth perform and/or present their artwork to family, friends and community.
Youth Leadership Group (YLG)
Is specifically for youth ages 15–19. YLG uses theater as a vehicle to foster leadership skills, encourage civic engagement and heighten expectations for success after high school. The program is an intense year-long program for youth who have extremely high potential but little opportunity to reach that potential. The group meets regularly to discuss critical issues affecting the Hmong community; select, plan and organize a theatrical campaign to address the issue; and presents the campaign at a local theatre and tours to Universities, conferences, organizational events and libraries. Through the process of creating and implementing the campaign, youth develop skills in consensus and team-building, leadership and follow-through, as well as marketing, producing and community-building.
Conversation Series: Direct services to Hmong artists around professional development, marketing, artistic education and creating opportunities for broader exposure.
Visual Arts Curriculum (X-Draw-Vaganza): Drawing is a simple, but fundamental principle to being a better illustrator and designer. Drawing is an effective expressive communication tool as well as a modality for understanding the world around us. CHAT’s X-Draw-Vaganza drawing program gives artists of all levels the chance to practice and learn in a relaxed, engaging environment. Additionally, the course allows visual artist the chance to hone their skills and techniques, challenge their perspectives, and support their peers for personal and community growth.
X-Draw-Vaganza is program of CHAT’s Adult Conversations Series.