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In downtown Manhattan, the Lower Eastside Girls Club gives underserved girls from low-income families the opportunity to discover a range of artistic practices and artisan trades. The project gives participants the tools and techniques to learn crafts and meet artisans who practise the craft as their business.
Founded in 1996, the Lower Eastside Girls Club provides free after-school and summer programmes to at-risk girls aged eight to eighteen. The LESGC’s Alphabet City Art School introduces girls to a variety of artistic professions. Programmes at the Girls Club are designed to educate participants and to connect them to healthy and successful futures.
Seventy girls take part in the project. Working in light-filled Alphabet City Art School studios, members discover a broad range of skills with visiting artisans, designers and artists. Participants will work with textiles, natural dying processes, leather crafts and book-binding among other trades, and learn about the entrepreneurial side of their creations – essential skills designed to introduce them to possible future careers.
After-school classes and summer sessions encourage participants to achieve enhanced self-esteem and confidence while learning new skills in a fun environment. The LESGC offers girls solid training and a wealth of enriching experiences, as a springboard to successful working lives. The Fondation d’entreprise Hermès supports this project, and its artisan focus in particular, for the second edition of our H³ programme (Heart – Head – Hand).