MADISONVILLE, Ky. (12/28/12) — The Arts Awareness movement spreading through Madisonville is seeping into the lives of the community’s youth. Madisonville native and Bowling Green resident, Eric Logan, is doing his part and more to foster the wellness, creativity, expression, and social and leadership skills of the teens in Madisonville and Bowling Green with his non-profit organization, Light of Chance, Inc. Light of Chance hosts workshops, programs, and events to cultivate these values, ideas, skills, and attributes, engaging the participants so that they may grow into more well-adjusted people.
Logan shared his passion and details of his visions that brought Light of Chance to fruition during an interview conducted at Rosenwald- Smith Multi-Cultural Center on North Kentucky Avenue in Madisonville. The building has become the local home for the after school arts program that Logan hosts for community youth in grades 5-12 called “Breathe.”
The objective of “Breathe,” according to Logan and the informational brochure provided to interested participants is to “develop the participants’ self-esteem, artistic engagement, and selfless service to others. They are provided with opportunities to explore the arts while developing supportive relationships and connections within their community. They can establish and achieve personal goals by discovering different ways to think critically and solve problems so that they grow personally and professionally. They are provided a safe, comfortable, and fun environment wherein they may celebrate stories of their life and their community.”
The idea for Light of Chance was spawned in 2005 during a personal conversation between Logan and one of his friends from Madisonville. Logan said the two were discussing the positive attitude he had adopted about how he was living his life, and he realized he had many friends with the same optimistic outlook. He wanted to find a way to spread this attitude and his ideas to the youth from his hometown and initially planned to host a weekend or series of events, inviting mentors to gather with some of the community’s youth for a Teen Summit.
Logan was finally able to host the first event at the MCC Health Campus in May, 2007. He named the event “Aspire,” and the theme was “Dare to Live Your Dream.” Logan said he ultimately reached about 200 local teens during that event, and he considered it such a success that it drove him to continue pursuing his goals in fulfilling his ultimate dream: founding the organization that is now Light of Chance, Inc. Logan has hosted “Aspire” events every year since the first one and he continues to do so. The venue locations and dates vary from year to year, but Logan hopes to host the 2013 event at the Rosenwald-Smith Multi-Cultural Center tentatively in the Fall months of the coming year. SurfKY News will release that information as it is provided.
Light of Chance is a 501 C(3) non-profit organization. The support to fund the organization comes from community donations from Bowling Green and Madisonville. Logan has been able to get a few small grants for the Wellness program in Bowling Green and has had community donations for the sound room, computers, current supplies, and renovations to the Rosenwald -Smith building here in town; however, the program is in need of more supplies, volunteers, and funds to keep it going with the same success that it has had up to this point. It costs about $400 a child a year for food and supplies.” He added, “One thing I pride Light of Chance on is that everything we say we’re going to do, we do it. The shortage of funding has made it more difficult, but we get things done.”
Logan is 32 years old, graduated from Western Kentucky University, and has two master’s degrees: one in Corporate and Organizational Communication and one in Administrative Leadership. He said he hasn’t had much interest in working in any profession relating to his schooling, proclaiming that he is “living his dream” in all he does for Light of Chance.
Obviously, a man with two master’s degrees in Corporate and Administrative Communications could potentially make a large salary if practicing in his field of study; however, Logan devotes most of his time and energy into maintaining this non-profit program. He said he spends about 14 hours a day working for Light of Chance. Logan said, “There are a lot of rules for non-profit organizations that I wasn’t aware of when I started this mission but I’ve learned so much along the way. We got the Wellness program started and now the Arts program, and in the midst of all this, I’ve really found my passion.” The Wellness program in Bowling Green, “Get Set. Go,” targets childhood obesity.
Logan just started the “Breathe” program here in March of 2012. He presented the program proposal to the governors of the estate of the Rosenwald-Smith Multi-Cultural Center building, and they gave him the go for renovations. Logan began working on the building renovations last January, 2012 and by March, he was able to start the Youth Arts Program hosted on Tuesdays from 3:30-6 p.m. There is no fee for teens to participate.
“Breathe” enables the participants to develop by means of visual arts, music, dance, and creative writing. Logan said initially, he thought, “If I can just get 25 students to participate and take to this, I can get this going,” Logan said. “We’ve exceeded that, and numbers are anywhere from 40-60 students a session so now I need more funds to keep it going with such success.” Each session lasts anywhere from 12-16 weeks.
Many of the students’ talents and disciplines are showcased at the end of each session. The students will showcase visual arts and performances as well as music. Logan credited PJ Woodside for her role in filming many “Breathe” showcase events. He also gave credit to all of the community members who have already donated their time and supplies to volunteer.
Each artistic area of focus for “Breathe” is narrowed down and offered as a discipline for creative expression thoroughly so that each one addresses specific principles and developments. Logan said, “The art is inspired by the things the kids are going through or dealing with at school and home. Sometimes, they’re dealing with rumors or drama or bullying or gossiping. Art helps people’s lives inside and outside the classroom.”
The next after-school program begins Tuesday, January 29. Logan has encouraged the rest of the community to get involved with this program and said that anyone interested in contributing can find fulfillment in being part of this. “One of the challenges has been getting people to know about the program. I hope that once people know, they will share my passion and get involved. Every once in a while … I realize this thing is so much bigger than I am.”
Donations may also be made through postal mailing to P.O. Box 1932, Madisonville, KY, 42431. You may send a check or money order or donate via http://www.lightofchance.org/ with PayPal or Google Checkout. Donations are 100% tax deductible.
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