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Living Arts receives $25,000 grant, named a Champion in Action in Michigan

DETROIT (October 22, 2010) -  Charter One and WXYZ-TV 7 announce Living Arts as the 2010 Champion in Action® winner in Michigan, in the area of arts and culture. As the beneficiary of this award, Living Arts will receive a $25,000 grant and extensive public relations and volunteer support.

Serving just 19 students in 1999 when the organization began, Living Arts has grown to reach more than 2,000 youth and adults each year through multi-faceted arts education programming. Focusing on after school dance training and in-school arts-infused education, Living Arts is empowering local youth to develop knowledge, appreciation and practical skill in dance and other artistic forms.

Living Arts’ in-school program, El Arte, places professional artists in-residence at local schools. These artists foster the students’ innate creativity by using an arts-infused curricula to teach core academic skills to 1,700 pre-school through middle school students. Through its dance company, Southwest Dance, after-school classes are offered in dance fundamentals, tap, jazz, hip hop, ballet, modern and break-dance to 200 students ages 3 to 17 as well as 20 adults. As students progress, they also have the opportunity to learn choreography and build experience through live performances as a member of Dance Collage, the student performance ensemble. 

“Living Arts impacts the classroom and community by providing students the opportunity to embrace learning in an alternative and safe environment,” said Sandra Pierce, President, Charter One, Michigan. “By providing opportunities to students regardless of their financial situation, Living Arts breaks barriers, builds character and develops families and communities one child at a time.”

"WXYZ-TV 7 is proud to partner with Charter One to recognize the meaningful work of Living Arts,” said Eduardo Fernandez, Vice President and General Manager, WXYZ-TV 7. "We congratulate the organization and look forward to working with Living Arts to help raise awareness and advance its mission.”

The Champions in Action program was launched in November 2005 by Charter One and WXYZ-TV 7 to recognize and support nonprofit organizations that champion change in our communities and work to address the needs of southeast Michigan. Living Arts is the 19th organization to be recognized since the program’s inception.

As the 2010 fourth quarter Champion in Action, Living Arts will receive:
• A $25,000 grant in unrestricted funds from the Charter One Foundation
• Media coverage from WXYZ-TV 7, including public service announcements
• Volunteer support from Charter One colleagues
• Promotional support in all Charter One branches and ATMs throughout Michigan
• Exposure on both Charter One’s and WXYZ-TV 7’s Web sites

“We are proud to be chosen as a Champion in Action. It is a privilege to have our programs recognized for the positive impact they have on our youth and in our communities,” said Cara Graninger, Co-Executive Director, Living Arts.”

Community leaders and representatives of WXYZ-TV 7 and Charter One comprise a committee which selects a Champion in Action each quarter for its work on a particular social concern. 2010 categories are: Workforce Development; Family Support; Environmental Impact; and Arts and Culture.

About Charter One

Charter One is a division of RBS Citizens, N.A., operating in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. It has approximately 370 branches and 610 ATMs. It has 108 branches and 122 ATMs in Michigan.

RBS Citizens, N.A. is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $140 billion commercial bank holding company headquartered in Providence, R.I. CFG’s two bank subsidiaries are RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. They operate a 12-state branch network under the Citizens Bank brand in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont, and the Charter One brand in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. CFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in about 40 states. CFG is owned by RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc). 

Information on Living Arts
(313) 841-4765