By Marie Block
On Saturday afternoon, children and adults celebrated the newly formed Racine Inner City Art House at HALO. The arts and culture committee of Leadership Racine's 2009 class had a vision to "give kids something to say 'yes' to," as Raquel Freeman, a member of Leadership Racine, stated. Their goal is to have HALO host a children's art center for residents and the surrounding community. The center will expose children to visual and performing arts that are not a part of most school curriculum, including dance and martial arts, to instill confidence and creativity in all children.
The day's festivities began with Victor Niño, an instructor at the Racine Athletic Club, along with Heather Sampson, leading both children and adults in Zumba, a combination of Latin and Reggaeton dances with a focus on fitness and fun. The group then went into HALO's "The Room to Grow." Children's hands were colored with bright paints and placed onto a tree painted by Chris Stretenovich and Becky Mantenfel. Stephanie Kober, HALO's Family Program Manager, wrote the children's names next to their handprints... handprints of future artists.