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Applications due Friday for Center for Great Neighborhoods, Restorative Justice ESP program

The Center for Great Neighborhoods (The Center) and Community Restorative Justice – Covington (CRJ-C) are excited to announce the Covington ESP Project, kicking off May 15.

Funded through a Creative Community Grant from The Center, the ESP – Essay, Sketches, and Poetry – Project is a free arts and employment program that utilizes the arts and circle process to increase success in written and verbal communication, artistic expression, and clear a path to employment. The classes include Essay & Poetry Writing, taught by Kareem Simpson, a social innovator, community enthusiast, serial entrepreneur, and self-published author, and Liz Wu, a published author, freelancer, and professional musician; Sketches & Drawing, taught by Gary Luke, a graphic designer and artist with an applied business focus; and Circle Process & Goal Development, taught by the CRJ-C staff.

The three classes will incorporate the CRJ-C’s philosophy of solving problems through dialogue and will utilize the circle process, a facilitation tool used to address issues. Through the circle process, participants will acknowledge conflicts in their own lives, set goals, and implement solutions.

“This project is a step towards employment and provides creative workforce development techniques,” said Blair Thompson, a volunteer with the CRJ-C. “While there are other programs that offer workforce development, the ESP will provide artistic skill development, an outlet to display and sell creative work, networking opportunities, and other paths to employment opportunities.”

The free classes run from May 15-June 27 and are limited to 10 participants in each. In August, the CRJ will invite the community to join the class participants in a free closing celebration and exhibition featuring the participants’ creative works. After successful completion of the classes, participants will receive a stipend of $45 to continue their work.

Interested participants are encouraged to apply for as many classes as they’d like. Applications are available online at http://bit.ly/CRJApplication. Applications must be dropped off or mailed to CRJ-C, 321 W. MLK, Covington, KY, or emailed to CRJCovington@gmail.com.

Applications are due Friday, April 28.

The Center’s Creative Community Grants are funded through a multi-year grant The Center received from The Kresge Foundation to implement creative placemaking activities in Covington.

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