Espaço Aberto Art Studio was founded by Yolanda Demétrio in 1998 in Rocinha, the largest favela in Latin America, located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Studio was created with the mission of discovering and developing the skills and abilities of children and young people through dance, art, culture, and children's literature. Espaço Aberto serves the neighborhoods of Rocinha, Gardenia, Cidade de Deus, and Cruzada São Sebastião - all considered high-risk areas marked by the presence of drug dealers and militiamen (former police officers).
Over the years, Espaço Aberto has rescued students who were involved in drug-trafficking, prostitution, and drug use. The art studio currently serves 46 children, 21 youth, and 2 elders on a regular basis with a fighting spirit for families living in low-income favelas who cannot afford dance activities. They are also focused on training new leaders who will continue building a love for the arts in the future.
“GGG helped us by giving psychological support through weekly meetings via zoom, bringing panelists and information, practices, and life stories of GGG leaders, who inspired us to become resilient and build a beautiful journey. To me, the practices bring peace, tranquility, and strength, helping me to keep the focus and the faith to overcome the fear of leaving home to work. We received financial support for the payment of rent for the dance hall and for the internet installed at this location for the use of students, and for the purchase of “food boxes” for students and their families.” ~ Yolanda Demétrio, Founder and Director of Espaço Aberto Art Studio
GOALS FOR NEXT YEAR