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Press Release                                          FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RAM Announces Partnership with Racine's Family YMCA

The Racine Art Museum has partnered YMCA's Young Leaders Academy (YLA), a program designed to strengthen the City of Racine by nurturing its most at risk population, inner-city minority youth. The YMCA and their partners have found that the YLA program is very effective at keeping students busy after school with a mix of productive recreational activities and homework supervision.

Their research has also shown that the addition of a creative arts education component is another way to enhance the participants' self-confidence and self-esteem. Most importantly, visual art classes provide students with a positive outlet for their growing creative energy and a means for personal expression. Not only can arts programs enhance young peoples' attitudes about themselves and their futures, but they can also increase academic achievement and decrease delinquent behavior by stimulating the learning experience. Arts experiences help students succeed in other areas of school and life by reinforcing learning in other disciplines, such as math, reading and writing, and by introducing a variety of career choices.

Last year, the YMCA approached RAM about the possibility of utilizing the expertise of its staff, management and fundraising ability to develop and present a weekly after school arts education component to 40-50 YLA students between the ages of 8-11. The program is a 20-week program scheduled to run through the school year. The YLA provides transportation and supervisory staff, while RAM's Education Department engages the students in hands-on art experiences and instruction that, until now, was missing from this otherwise successful program. RAM was able to secure significant funding from the Hearst Foundation, Inc., New York and other local and national sources to help fund its participation through 2010.

The weekly classes take place at RAM's Wustum Museum of Fine Arts. The art lessons underscore academic subjects the students are studying in school and in the YMCA programs. On April 1, 2009, YLA students will have an opportunity to work directly with renowned African-American glass artist Therman Statom. With Statom's direction and encouragement, students will create artworks for the exhibition Back to School with Therman Statom, on display at RAM's Wustum Museum, June 6 through July 26, 2009.


Together, the two campuses of the Racine Art Museum, RAM in downtown Racine at 441 Main Street and the Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts at 2519 Northwestern Avenue, seek to elevate the stature of contemporary crafts to that of fine art by exhibiting significant works in craft media with painting, sculpture and photography, while providing outstanding educational art programming.

Docent led contemporary craft and architectural tours of the museums are available. Both campuses of the Racine Art Museum, are open to the public Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, and are closed Mondays, Federal holidays and Easter. RAM is open Sunday Noon - 5:00 pm, while Wustum is closed Sundays. An admission fee of $5 for adults, with reduced fees for students and seniors, applies at RAM. Admission to Wustum is free. Members are always admitted without charge to either campus.

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For more information or to request images, please contact:

Laura Gillespie
RAM Marketing Assistant
262.638.8300 x 114