Photo courtesy of Neu Kirche Contemporary Art Center

By Erika Fleegle

While the Neu Kirche Contemporary Art Center is already making strides on the Northside by giving local artists a voice and integrating contemporary art into the East Deutschtown community, another program is in the works to encourage local youth to embrace their creative side.

Beginning this fall, Neu Kirche will introduce its first class of NEU GIRLS Arts Fellows for twelve Northside girls ages 8-18 who want to promote their potential to thrive as creative individuals.

The 10-month fellowship program will take participants through the school year, Sept. 1- May 31. Every Tuesday evening, participants will gather for a series of classes and workshops focusing on different forms of art. Under the mentorship of 14 professional teaching artists, the girls will hone their skills across four artistic disciplines and create full portfolios.

The fall term will focus primarily on photography and printmaking, with classes taught by professional Pittsburgh artists Matthew Conboy and Darrell Kinsel. The spring term will focus on ‘zine-making and exhibition design will be taught by Maggle Lynn Negrete and Ebony McQueen, and will culminate in an end-of-year art show curated by the NEU GIRLS Fellows.

NEU GIRLS, while aiming to teach young girls valuable skills like critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration, will also offer up other opportunities for high school and college achievement.

“NEU GIRLS is addressing the need for a more fluid and hands-on approach to personal growth,” Oreen Cohen, Neu Kirche’s Community Project Coordinator, said. “The methods and skills taught will reinforce how individual and collective actions have a direct effect on outcomes.”

NEU GIRLS Arts Fellows is made possible through Artist Image Resource, The Hillman Foundation and the Hive Fund for Connected Learning at the Sprout Fund.

For more information and a schedule of events, visit the program’s website.