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The Sunset Project Awards Local Artistic Youth Grants for Future Projects

The Sunset Project offers artistic grants to teen and young adult artists that are looking to further their artistic expression. According to the National Endowment for the Arts in two separate databases, students who had arts rich experiences in high school showed higher overall GPA. “Sunset Project is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that has a focus of the betterment of Northeast Michigan through our creative programs and mental health programs. We have three unique programs; one of them is our Northeast Michigan Wellness Initiative, which is our mental health focused program. We have our Focus 45 Creative Advancement Program, and then we have our Sawyer Boyd Creatives Grant Program, which is going to be wrapping up here in the end of June,” Creative Director of the Sunset Project, Nick Poli said. The project was birthed out of a devastating loss, “So, this is a direct result of us losing a friend of ours to suicide in 2016. Sawyer was an extremely expressive individual, a very creative individual, whether it was filmmaking, art or photography. We want to be able to provide opportunities for young people in this region to express themselves creatively,” Poli said.

Applications are due at the end of June. “The Sawyer Boyd Creative’s Grant is a creative opportunity for individuals aged sixteen to twenty-three who are looking to take their creative hobbies, interests or careers to the next level. We provide them with $2,000 in funding that they are then able to apply to whatever it is their creative endeavor might need at that time. At this time, we have not made any selections. Applications are open until June 30th. Your criteria are very simple. You need to be aged 16 to 23. You need to be located in one of the seven counties in our service region and you need to be a creative individual,” Poli said. The grant recipients also received life changing advice and guidance. “In addition to that, we provide a mentorship program that goes alongside our financial contributions, it requires us to meet with grant recipients on a monthly basis for three months that follow the actual award. This allows us to follow up with individuals and make sure that they’re getting the support that they need. It also allows us to connect them with other creative individuals across Northeast Michigan, which really helps bolster our more creative community and helps benefit Northeast Michigan as a whole,” he said.