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Munson Williams in running for LIVESTRONG grant to create art therapy program

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute (MWPAI ) is rallying community support for a new arts therapy program. They're one of six organizations in the Northeast in the running for a $15,000 LIVESTRONG Creative Center Grant.

If MWPAI receives the grant, it will allow the school's students to conduct Healing Arts Projects with cancer patients in hospitals across the Mohawk Valley. 

"Here we are an art design school, these students have amazing potential and they want to do community outreach," said Janelle Roginski, Community Arts Education Coordinator for MWPAI.  "They want to be involved and they have these amazing gifts."

Roginski says the school is the perfect place to receive the LIVESTRONG Creative Center Grant as an art center in central New York with many students looking to help others through art.

"Art therapy is great it kind of gets them away from what they're dealing with on a day to day basis and just all the horrible stuff that goes along with it," said Patrick Thiesen, Senior Leader for LIVESTRONG. "It's good, it just gives them that release."

Instead of using $12,000 of the grant to go towards an artist and resident the school would use their students as the artists, putting the $12,000 towards supplies and transportation for the program. A program many of the students are all for.

"I think that a visual change in the area around you is going to change the way you feel completely," said Mason Dowling, a sophomore at MWPAI. "I mean in basic psychological way especially in a pediatric way for kids it would be phenomenal to change the setting."

To vote for Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute to receive the grant go to: vote.livestrong.org/regions/7

Voting ends March 28th and the winners will be announced April 15th.
 

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