Free Summer Arts Programs Boost Teen Wellbeing


Portsmouth – When Sam felt socially isolated last fall after returning to high school after a year of online lessons, she had to find ways to deal with feelings of loneliness and hopelessness. Her school guidance counselor recommended Arts In Reach and its community arts programs. Sam joined an after-school media arts program in the fall of 2021 then an upcycle fashion design program this spring and, for the first time, dabbled in comedy theater during an April vacation program.

“I was nervous at first,” Sam said. “But AIR feels safe and non-judgmental. It encourages me to be creative in new ways and be more of myself. make friends and build trust.

This summer, Sam is looking forward to doing ceramics, doing more theater, and trying to create an AIR graphic novel.

AIR offers five weeks of summer programs for teenage girls and gender-broad youth in Rockingham and Strafford counties. Four weeks are intended for teenagers aged 14 to 18. These programs focus on a week of ceramics (June 27-30 and July 6-8), theater (July 11-15), graphic novels (July 18-22), and multi-media storytelling. (August 1-5). One week (July 25-29) is aimed at 11-13 year olds and is all about arts and creative exploration.

“We are excited to offer five unique new in-person programs this summer,” said Cara Cabral, AIR Program Director. “It’s sure to be a fun, fast-paced summer of arts, community, and heightened well-being.”

All programs feature professional teaching artists who balance high-quality art education with creative self-expression and mindfulness. Programs are free to all participants, including supplies and transportation assistance. For more information on AIR’s summer programs and to register, visit


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