For Immediate Release
‘JUST LIKE ME’ ARTS SHOWCASE HIGHLIGHTS TALENTS OF TEENS IN FOSTER CARE AUG. 3 AT JACKSONVILLE MAIN LIBRARY
The 12th annual exhibition by Family Support Services, Performers Academy starts at 6 p.m. at Laura Street library
Jacksonville, Fla. (July 31, 2023) – The First Coast community is invited to cheer on local teens in the foster care system Thursday, Aug. 3, with the annual ‘Just Like Me’ arts camp exhibition of talent at Jacksonville Main Library’s Hicks Auditorium. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the free show will begin at 6 p.m., with a public reception immediately following the show.
Now in its 12th season, the event is a culmination of three weeks of interactive arts education, led by professional artists and presented in partnership by The Performers Academy and Family Support Services Duval and Nassau Counties. The camp is specially designed for young people ages 14-17 in out-of-home care and directed by working artists in different fields, including dance, theater, visual and recording arts, singing/song writing and fashion design – all of which will be on display during the production Thursday night.
FSS also ensures therapeutic professionals are on hand during the camp, allowing the teens to be fully supported as they use art to work through their emotions and experiences.
“The Performers Academy aims to bring the arts to everyone, particularly teens in need. Just Like Me gives them not just a safe space to explore new ideas and big emotions, but access to the tools to express themselves in ways they may not have imagined,” says Kathryn McAvoy, Executive Director of The Performers Academy, which expanded the camp to FSS’ Pasco and Pinellas support areas in June.
This year’s camp is one of the largest they’ve had – 21 teens in all, according to Maria Oxford, FSS’ Director of Youth Well-Being for Duval and Nassau Counties. “It’s such an incredible program,” Oxford says of Just Like Me. “These kids might be a little hesitant at the start of camp, but by the end of the three weeks, they’re so invigorated and opened up to the experience and interacting with each other – they’re totally different people,” she says. “We’re very proud of this partnership with the Performers Academy and the support they provide for our teens in care.”
“The unique projects these teens come up with in three short weeks are amazing,” adds McAvoy. “I look forward to the community coming together to celebrate them and their accomplishments!”
303 N. Laura St., Jacksonville, FL 32202
Parking is free when entering the garage at Duval Street after 5 p.m. as long as the
ticket is validated in the library. See jaxpubliclibrary.org for more information.
WHEN: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. (expected) – doors open at 5:30 p.m.
Light reception immediately following the show. Admission is free and open to the public.
About Family Support Services (FSS) Duval and Nassau Counties
Family Support Services is the lead agency for family preservation, foster care and adoption services in Duval, Nassau, Pasco and Pinellas counties. Through community-based care, FSS provides services and programs to help prevent child abuse and neglect, to promote a healthy family environment and to care for our community’s children in foster care. For more information, go to familysupport.org.
About The Performers Academy
The Performers Academy (TPA) is dedicated to sharing the power of the performing arts with the entire community. We are committed to helping individuals find their passion for the performing arts – especially those who may not otherwise be exposed to its power. TPA believes improving quality of life is heavily rooted in improving family and community engagement. Learn more about TPA, its mission and programs at www.jaxtpa.org.