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THEATRE OF HEARTS, is a Los Angeles based, non-profit corporation established to serve as a forum for cultural and artistic exchange. Our primary objective is to promote a worldwide global understanding between people and to empower local communities through the Arts. The mission of YOUTH FIRST, the preeminent Artist-In-Residence program of THEATRE OF HEARTS, is to prevent and intervene in youth-on-youth violence by involving youth and their families in on-going, high quality, interdisciplinary arts workshops offered at community-based sites in impoverished neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles. It is the intention of YOUTH FIRST to ensure that these residencies are long-term, providing involved youth with the continuity and mentoring so critical for making a lasting impact in their lives.
Theatre Of Hearts/Youth First (TOHYF), a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles, links professional artists with at-risk youth, ages 4 to 18, through the Youth First Artist-In-Residence Program. These children and teenagers live on the streets and in shelters, are exposed to violence and drugs daily, and are often marginalized and neglected by the community. Since 1992, TOHYF has reached over 64,000 Los Angeles youth in areas where lack of funding has caused the arts to disappear from the school curriculum. TOHYF reaches out to these youth where they live, developing their talents and skills through arts education while involving them in the creative process, affirming their sense of self, and helping them find their voice. The study of the arts provides a stabilizing force in the lives of these youth and develops the skills that every child needs both in life and in the workforce today.
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