Organizations join for 2nd Annual Girls Can! Collaborative

KALAMAZOO, MI – Area girls are invited to an interactive Girls Can! Collaborative experience  September 9, 2016, during September’s Art Hop festivities at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. Hosted by the Merze Tate Explorers and the KIA, the mission of the evening is Unity: Helping girls find the power to believe in themselves. Through that theme, girls will participate in interactive icebreaker activities, which not only allow girls to make new friends, but to introduce them to the eight organizations which have collaborated.

2016-Girls-Can-Unity-for-webThe program will begin at 5:30 pm in the KIA atrium where girls will decorate a bag and receive their passports. The activities will begin at 6 p.m., and interactive craft and exhibit stops hosted by each participating organization will follow from 6:30-8 p.m. Cookies and punch will be served.

In addition to the Merze Tate Explorers and KIA’s ArtGirls, partnership includes YWCA’s TechGyrls, Fire Historical and Cultural Arts’ Collaborative’s Writing with Fire, Black Arts and Cultural Center, Kalamazoo Junior Girls, Girls on the Run, and the Girl Scouts.

“Last year this event began as a way to highlight what all of these organization do to empower girls. The results were so amazing that organizations decided to team up to offer it again, having the focus on a more interactive experience,” said Hollins, founder of the Merze Tate Explorers.

“Across the board, the KIA is partnering with area organizations in new ways. Through this collaborative, we aim to use the arts to nurture the social, emotional, and cultural well-being of Kalamazoo area girls by connecting them with the KIA and other organizations. Through collaboration, we lay the foundation for a stronger, more vibrant community, by highlighting the variety of community resources and learning opportunities available for kids and families,” said Belinda Tate.

“We want to use the arts as a bonding experience between girls who are connected with an existing organization and unaffiliated girls,” said Tate.

For more information on this event or to interview those involved, contact Sonya Bernard-Hollins at 269-342-2367,;  or Candie Waterloo at 269-349-7775 ext. 3161,

Sonya Bernard-Hollins

Administrative account for the Community Voices website.