Changing The Odds Programs
The goal of the Windsor Endowment for the Arts’ Changing the Odds: Community Transformation through the Arts (CTO) program is to make the arts more accessible to local youth living with challenging social, emotional, financial, physical or mental health circumstances, and who tend to be under-served due to their life situations.
CTO Program Run by Melissa Miner (Summer 2019)
The 2019 Changing the Odds Program was run by Melissa Miner, the Executive Director of the Downtown Music Initiative. In the summer, the Downtown Music Initiative offered 7 weeks of free music lessons and instrument loans to 20 youth ages 4-17 from low-income families in Downtown Windsor.
CTO At The School Of Dramatic Art (2013–2018)
From 2013 to 2018, CTO was an interdisciplinary arts program for teens aged 14-19, who live with challenging social, emotional, financial, physical or mental health circumstances, and who tend to be under served due to their life situations. This arts-based program housed in the Jackman Dramatic Art Centre at the University of Windsor, and delivered by the School of Dramatic Art (SODA) provided youth with a welcoming space and place for exploration and self-development. Through various models of engagement that focus on leadership training, mentorship, theatre, and other arts related activities, the CTO program offered a platform for youth to speak up about “what is not being said in their lives, to advocate for themselves and to practice the creative and leadership skills introduced throughout the program.” The first edition of CTO was able to transform the lives of dozens of youth. Its tremendous success was due to the strength and commitment of the entire Windsor-Essex community.