The NGO Curitiba offers art classes for children at social risk

“Before a child starts talking, he sings. Before he writes, he draws. The moment he is able to stand, he dances. Art is fundamental to human expression.” Anyone who has a child at home or who closely follows the development of children cannot disagree with this remark by American actress, singer and director Felicia Rashad. Art, of course, is inherent in man.

Camilla Casagrand, 29, a social entrepreneur, discovered the power of art in high school when she had the opportunity to set foot on stage and perform. “I have a feeling I have never felt in my life,” said Camilla, who decided after the presentation that she needed to share the experience with other children and adolescents.

Then, in 2008, the young woman talked to the principal of her school in Curitiba and began teaching hip-hop classes to other children. But over the years, Camilla has seen that she has nothing left to teach those students who are already becoming adults and who, in her opinion, are already dancing much better than her.

“It was time to multiply what they learned. So, I invited them to be teachers and that’s when I created Incanto, “said the entrepreneur.

The first step

Incanto’s primary task – the Instituto de Cultura, Arte e Novas Tecnologias – was to create a process for those first students to become teachers and, thus, to multiply the influence of art in other parts of the city.

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“I went after other NGOs, such as nursing homes and after school projects to take these teachers to these institutions and be able to conduct these classes with children in socially vulnerable situations,” the founder recalls.

According to him, the work officially started in 2017 and almost 3 years later, the institute already had a network of 17 partner NGOs, serving a total of more than 500 children and adolescents. “The work has grown so disruptive, it was so nice to see,” he says. In addition to dance classes, volunteer artists who are professors at the institute teach theater, music, circus, visual arts, culture and technology.

Cultural center

In 2020, Camilla and Incanto volunteers have a dream come true: to have their own cultural center. “A partner NGO has invited us to take over the management of the site due to closure due to the epidemic,” he said. Even with temporary online classes, the cultural center was inaugurated in 2021. Thus, the institute began to create its own space for activities, but without neglecting to work with partner NGOs.

There, staff and volunteers welcome socially vulnerable children and adolescents in Curitiba and the metropolitan area who are eager to learn new things and change their lives. Also, there is now an aspect of incanto that focuses on the professional competence of young and adults.

Today, in addition to the day-to-day work of staff and volunteers, the Institute relies on the help of generous hearts who can contribute both financially and materially, for example. “This year, we hope to serve 54 NGOs and impact the lives of 1,820 children and adolescents. That is our challenge, “said Camilla.

And so, with great joy, music, dance, theater and many more artistic expressions, the Incanto Institute continues to fulfill its goal of “creating a sense of belonging to a dignified life, expanding worldviews and transforming negative values. This is risky.” Positive impact on children and adolescents. ”Anyone interested in helping the institute can contact us via the website or Instagram.

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