Area girls 8 to 18 are invited to a open house and night of fun with the Girls Can! Collaborative. Hosted by the Merze Tate Explorers and the KIA, it is part of free Art Hop festivities on September 9 at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts.
The evening begins at 5:30 pm when girls will decorate a shopping bag and receive an activity passport. A welcome gathering and icebreaker activities in the auditorium follow at 6 pm. From 6:30-8 pm, the KIA lobby, atrium and school commons will be filled with craft and exhibit tables hosted by each participating organization. Cookies and punch will be served.
Groups invited include the YWCA’s TechGyrls, Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative’s Writing with Fire, Black Arts and Cultural Center, Kalamazoo Junior Girls, Girls on the Run, and the Girl Scouts, the Merze Tate Explorers, and KIA’s artGirls. All the groups contributed to creating the group’s mission: “Empowering girls with the tools and resources to find their power. Together, girls can!”
“Last year, this event began as a way to highlight what all of these organizations do to empower girls. The results were so amazing that organizations decided to team up to offer it again, having the focus on a more interactive experience,” says Sonya Hollins, founder of the Merze Tate Explorers, and the original Girls Can! “The girls and their families will learn about the resources and learning opportunities at all the area organizations.”
“The KIA consistently seeks to partner with area organizations to empower youth and create a stronger, more vibrant community,” says KIA Executive Director Belinda Tate. “Our goal is to promote the social, emotional, and cultural well-being of Kalamazoo area girls, and through this event, nurture self-expression through a variety of creative means and a collaborative bonding experience.”