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Art Share Los Angeles promotes hope for at-risk teens through freedom of self-expression

January 9, 2010 |  4:00 am

Inside a brightly lighted theater that doubles as a studio in the arts district, a handful of sweaty dancers moved in unison, their faces focused as they strained their legs to mimic the intricate moves of their instructor. 

The dancers, mostly teenagers could be anywhere but here. They could be out running the streets or hanging in malls, but instead they turn to dance or to another of the more than a dozen classes offered by Art Share Los Angeles.

The classes, which take place after school in downtown, don't just offer kids a creative outlet or a place to kill time -- they provide the often at-risk teens a chance to flourish in an environment they're not accustomed to.

"We have a lot of [success] stories here," said Tracy Kelly, executive director of Art Share L.A., founded in 1997. "They get into art and something plugs in. People have no idea how art can change a life. It's incredible."

To read my story about Art Share, click here.

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy

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