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Reception and Exhibit for Local Teens’ Painting Class

June 15, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


Pawtucket, RI: Capeverdean American Community Development (CACD) today announced it will hold a reception, open to the public, on June 15 showcasing paintings produced by nine local teens. This program signals a major comeback for CACD from the past two years of misery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The teens’ art class was funded by a grant from the Rhode Island Council for the Arts, which receives funding from the Rhode Island State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts. Aimed, especially, at youth from low-income, immigrant families in Pawtucket and surrounding cities, the painting class met twice weekly for the past eight weeks in CACD’s building in downtown Pawtucket, attracting teens from a variety of backgrounds.

Pandemic isolation has taken a dire toll on teens during the years in which they should be moving toward fulfilling adulthoods by expanding social, emotional, and technical skills. For low-income, immigrant youth, “the loneliness of an interrupted adolescence” (as an article in the Washington Post chronicled last year) risked further reducing the prospects of a bright future. This class offered a welcome opportunity for teens (artistically inclined and otherwise) to regain their emotional footing.

Art responds to experiences demanding to be expressed. Through this class, some students found their way back to an earlier passion, while others discovered a new passion for creative expression. As students developed skills, they experienced challenges not as hopeless problems but tasks to tackle: their teacher guided them to understand their own process, instead of focusing on an end goal. As CACD Executive Director Allessandra Soares says,

“What an amazing eight weeks it has been with these young ‘uns! We have been blessed with the opportunity to highlight what great artists and creative children we have who reside right here in our backyard! All it takes is some belief, an open space, some funding, and anything is possible. We hope we can build on this and continue to support and showcase the amazing talents that reside right here in our hometown—because if we don’t, who will? Stay tuned for more programs and events at CACD—WE and your talents are counting on you to show up.”

These words echo those of CACD Board member and working artist Nadine Almada, who says, “Everyone has the potential to be an artist—they just need to find media that inspire and speak to them. Teens need help finding focus to identify their capacities. If they enjoyed this class, they will begin to trust their abilities. With confidence to take on challenges in one domain, they will develop confidence to take on challenges elsewhere.”

The class was taught by accomplished Cape Verdean-American painter, April Monteiro Doran, who was raised in Pawtucket and now lives in East Providence. Doran taught foundational skills while students discovered and explored their own creativity. Doran’s own work has been included in five RISCA shows at the Atrium Gallery; her painting, “Badia Bonita” [Beautiful Black Woman], was featured in the Providence Journal review of the show. Doran aims to convey liveliness in her own work, a sense that her paintings feel vibrantes e vivas—vibrant and alive—and she has tried to convey this passion to her students.

Through the class, CACD also aimed for students’ artwork to spark a conversation not only in their minds but also with their families. As youths educated relatives about the value of art, families became engaged when their children brought art home, creating a “virtuous circle.” To celebrate the students’ accomplishments, CACD will host a lively reception in their honor. This joyous event will not only welcome and educate family members, showcase the students’ art, award certificates of completion to each student, and celebrate the students’ personal growth, it will also highlight CACD’s role in promoting the arts in the Cape Verdean community.

This program joins a series of arts classes that CACD has begun hosting since the pandemic has allowed its reopening. Recent CACD initiatives and accomplishments include a theatre class (funded by the RI Council for the Humanities) and a sculpture class (funded by the RI State Council on the Arts). Next week, a new series of classes begins at CACD, instructing teens in eleven different genres of Cape Verdean dance (funded by the RI Council for the Humanities).


June 15, 2022
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Category:


Capeverdean American Community Development
120 High St
Pawtucket, RI 02860 United States
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