MELBOURNE, FLA. – Brevard Cultural Alliance (BCA) and Brevard Schools Foundation (BSF) have partnered to leverage a $40,000 grant from the Heineman Foundation to benefit local at-risk youth through the Brevard Group Treatment Home (serving boys ages 12-16) and the Melbourne Center for Personal Growth (serving boys ages 14-18).

This program is part of BCA and BSF’s effort to influence at-risk youth populations through the arts. As part of the 2015 program, BCA will provide yearlong artist residencies at both juvenile justice facilities. The primary focus of the program will be to provide tools to accelerate participants’ personal growth and help them become caring, responsible adults.

BCA’s Next Generation Artist Residencies provide professional artists at each service location, who provide classroom-type experiences tied to the visual, performing or literary arts. At the Melbourne Center for Personal Growth, local video producer John Emmerich will teach the basics of filmmaking, including the use of mobile devices and computer technology for shooting and editing short films on topics of interest. At the Brevard Group Treatment Home, illustrator/graphic designer Hassan Patterson is working with youth on the creation of a series of illustrations (book covers, ads, posters) themed on science and social studies curriculum. These residencies allow youth the opportunity to experience the arts in a unique way and even explore the possibilities of pursuing a career in an art-related field.

“Through this program, we hope to show these children that there are positive ways to express their personality and creativity through the arts,” said BCA Executive Director Neil Levine. “Not only do these programs provide a great experience for the children, they also promote important life skills like problem-solving and critical thinking.”

For more information on BCA’s Next Generation Artist Residencies, visit