Honorees Work Together

Children’s Book Illustrator Visits Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie
Illustrator/Author David Soman and the Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie — who are Mill Street Loft’s 2017 “Friends of the Arts” honorees — came together to uplift local children in need.

Children’s book author/illustrator David Soman brought copies of his books to the Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie to share a reading with a small group of children in the foster-care system. The event was a special surprise to the children, many of whom are at-risk youth who have endured trauma, abuse, and maltreatment, seeking solace in the nurturing, supportive environment of the Home.

Both Soman (coauthor/illustrator of “Ladybug Girl”) and the Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie are 2017 honorees of Mill Street Loft’s “Friend of the Arts” Award, an annual tradition that benefits the organization’s outreach, scholarship, and Arts for Healing programs. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the ceremony, which takes place Wednesday, May 17 at The Grandview in Poughkeepsie.

“Not only was this a great opportunity to provide a special evening of arts and literature to children in need, but it was also a chance for our honorees to discover the incredible work each other provides to the community,” says Todd Poteet, Director of the Arts Institute at Mill Street Loft, who arranged the event. “It was wonderful to see Mr. Soman — a former Art Institute of Mill Street Loft educator— encourage creativity and be a leading example of the many opportunities for a career in the arts.”

“As the new executive director of Mill Street Loft, it’s been an honor so far to help continue the mission of providing arts education and opportunities to our community, and I look forward to honoring both Mr. Soman and the Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie as Friends of the Arts this spring,” says Executive Director Nicole Fenichel-Hewitt, who simultaneously leads the efforts of Spark Media Project, a media arts education and workforce-readiness organization. “Both have done remarkable work deserving of this community honor.”

Mill Street Loft and Spark Media Project are merging in 2017, soon to become a new organization that provides education in visual arts, media literacy, workplace readiness, and other critical skills to youth and adults in the Hudson Valley. More information will be available soon. Interviews are available upon request.

Mill Street Loft is a not-for-profit, community-based, multi-arts educational center dedicated to bringing a wide range of creative, educational, and culturally enriching programs to over 9,000 children, adults, seniors and families throughout the Hudson Valley. Since 1981, Mill Street Loft has changed lives through the arts through an extensive range of programs, including Youth Outreach, Arts for Healing, the award-winning Dutchess Arts Camps and Art Institute, classes, exhibitions, workshops, and performances. Mill Street Loft is committed to supporting personal growth, fostering self-expression, and enhancing human services through the arts to make a difference in the life of our multi-cultural community.

About Spark Media Project – SparkMediaProject.org
Spark Media Project is an arts and education organization focused on nurturing creativity and building skill sets among youth through media arts and technology. Spark’s programs have provided youth and the community with hands-on, experiential learning taught by caring and creative professionals for more than two decades. As participants gain technical, artistic, and workplace skills, they simultaneously build confidence, become better decision makers, and practice positive risk taking.