Summer Night Lights: Cities Collaborate to Reduce Violence
Posted By Salt Lake County ZAP
November 20, 2015
Business robberies down 50%
Residential burglary down 48%
Simple assaults down 100%
Grand theft down 51%
How would you like to report those statistics in your community?
That is exactly what the Midvale Arts Council is working for. We are partnering with Unified Police Department, Canyons School District, Midvale City, Copperview Recreation Center, and the Midvale Boys and Girls Club to create something based on a successful program carried out in Sacramento, California and other cities throughout the nation. Sacramento Summer Night Lights is a violence reduction program disguised as fun and is a product of multi-sector collaboration amongst various stakeholders in one of the city’s highest crime locations. By creating a safe environment, the program fostered community growth and trust which resulted in a drastic reduction in violence.
Midvale City is working with Moises Prospero, the founder and lead researcher of the Institute for Innovative Justice. Moises coordinates with police departments, school districts, social service departments and other groups to form multi-agency collaborations to implement specific, high-quality strategies to reduce gang violence and to implement proven practices for the prevention and early intervention of juvenile delinquency. The Midvale Arts Council (MAC) was brought to the table to work with these groups in enhancing the free summer concert series that is already in place. With the collaboration of these groups, MAC is looking to produce our greatest summer concert series to date. On Friday nights during the summer, community members throughout the valley can gather in a safe place to celebrate community, enjoy diverse styles of music and other various activities such as visual arts, dance, sports, storytelling and book give a ways. Plus, children will receive free meals.
We are looking for help.
Other communities in the valley would like to create similar programs. Magna, West Valley, and Salt Lake City are all exploring their options and would like help carrying out this massive undertaking. If you are interested in helping, please email Moises Prospero at MProspero@slco.org. You can help Midvale City receive funding to enhance our summer concert series through a national grant sponsored by Levitt Pavilions by voting for their proposal at www.levittamp.org. Midvale City is the only organization in Utah that is in the running for this grant. For more information visit www.midvalearts.com.Together we can make a difference!
Suzanne Walker was recently hired as the Executive Director of the Midvale Arts Council where she has been a volunteer for nearly 20 years. She has produced over 40 theatrical productions for the council and has also been privileged to be on stage and behind the scenes directing, choreographing, or costuming many of those productions. She enjoys watching her children play basketball, soccer and football. She also enjoys singing, playing the piano, sewing and cooking.