MARZ Project

Location:  Eureka, CA
United States
Project Description: 

MARZ is a safe space for youth engaging in healthy selfexpression, confidence building, leadership skills, and a creative and just community. MARZ envisions a world where all youth are safe, supported, and creatively determining a positive future for themselves and their community. A free, dropin after school program for youth seriously at risk of falling off the edge of society. 

Most MARZ students come from difficult family and personal backgrounds, and are looking for a place to keep themselves out of trouble and creatively engaged. Many are disaffected with school or have already dropped out. Quite a few are homeless. They have limited access to the creative & technical tools and training necessary to succeed in today's digital and project management focused economy. They face significant barriers to accessing their own talents and to contributing to society in a healthy and meaningful way. Students are often referred by Court Appointed Community schools and social service agencies, because MARZ has been recognized to successfully engage youth, helping them get back to or stay in school, through a positive introduction to a creative and professional context by building self confidence, and leadership and creative problem solving skills.

The MARZ Project is one safe place for youth to find out who they are, what talents and interests they may discover, and to learn skills that will help them earn a living in a satisfying field they love. We want to continue offering this and expand our capacity to serve more youth.

Recognition of the abilities of these youth, instead of fear and rejection, would be a welcome change for all and make our community a healthier place.

Offering the MARZ Project in an ongoing and stable manner since 1997 has already affected several generations of youth in ways that meet them where they are and show them new paths to success. The more we work with and partner with nonarts organizations in the community, not only brings diverse experiences to the youth, but also exposes those agencies to the power of the arts to heal and create positive change.