Artist Mentoring Against Racism, Drugs, and Violence (AMARD&V):  Healing Through the Arts Summer Program


Summer 2017 Dates

July 10th - August 11th; Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

How to Register

Registration is open from April 18th – May 26, 2017. Please pick up applications at PRAB's main offices located at 90 Jersey Avenue in New Brunswick, New Jersey


For all students ages 10 to 16 yrs. old, New Brunswick residents only, some income guidelines apply.

Cost: Free!

For more information call (732) 247-2050.

About the Program

Artists Mentoring Against Racism, Drugs, & Violence (AMARD&V): Healing Through the Arts Summer Program is a multi-disciplinary arts education and health mentoring program for Latino/a and African American at-risk youth in New Brunswick, NJ. The program was established in 1996 by Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Promotion Program in partnership with the Rutgers University Center for Latino Arts and Culture, the Puerto Rican Action Board and the Suydam Reformed Church in response to increased gang recruitment among Latino and African American youth in New Brunswick.

The AMARD&V Summer Program targets underserved and economically disadvantaged youth ages 10 to 16 that are living in a challenging urban social environment by providing alternatives to violence through a summer program that builds confidence and team building skills while broadening their knowledge of health under the context of arts education. Since its inception, more than 1,010 at-risk youth have participated in the summer program. In 2007, the New Jersey Department of State recognized the AMARD&V summer program as a model for state and the field. Furthermore, in 2016 the NJ Hospital Association recognized the program as a model for community outreach.

Our Partnerships

The Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Community Health Promotion Program, in partnership with the Puerto Rican Action Board, the New Brunswick Cultural Center, the Rutgers University Center for Arts and Culture & the Collaborative for Service Learning and the Suydam Street Reformed Church actively collaborate in the design and implementation of the program. This partnership has agreed to share resources, outreach strategies, identification of local minority artists and health educators, and all fundraising responsibilities. Furthermore, the partnership shares the responsibility of identifying youngsters through school counselors, social service agencies, local police departments, African-American and Latino places of worship and other local organizations.

Empowerment Youth through Health Education and the Arts

Throughout the program, health educators that specialize in health promotion and awareness, domestic violence, gang awareness, conflict resolution, and substance abuse prevention guide students through social-emotional and health awareness exercises. Discussions encourage students to reflect on social attitudes such as racial and ethnically-based stereotypes, and negatively-patterned behavior including peer pressure and bullying. Art-making concepts, spanning across disciplines, are an integral aspect of the teaching methodology used in the program. The aim is to have youth explore the art-making process in an innovative ‘health oriented’ environment that will help them connect learning skills to everyday life skills. Motivating students to appreciate and understand the arts, as well as the hard work and the discipline required to produce, present, and publish artwork, is an essential component of this program. Art studios include: theater, visual arts, modern dance, Bomba- traditional Afro-Puerto Rican dance, and photography. In an effort to expand youth access to artistic work that will inspire them, the program organizes field trips, including visits to museums and theaters.

How The Program Works

The AMARD&V Summer Program runs 5 days a week from Monday to Friday - 8 am to 5:00 pm. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays the students rotate through 5 art studios. On Tuesdays, students have the opportunity to participate in interactive educational sessions and seminars on the areas of nutrition education, gang awareness, self-esteem, conflict resolution, college preparation, community service and others. Thursdays are trip days. Students meet at the program site and travel to specific locations throughout the area.