As Thanksgiving approaches, the MWAH! (Messages Which Are Hopeful) Performing Arts Troupe would like to take a moment to thank Illinois Humanities for its financial support in making the troupe’s work possible. MWAH! was fortunate to receive a $2,500 COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant from Illinois Humanities in order to advance the troupe’s mission of changing lives and saving lives through the performing arts.  The grant was funded through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which Congress passed in March 2020.

During the late summer and early fall, MWAH! utilized funding from the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant to produce a video (“Choices”) on suicide awareness; edit a video from a Morrison High School student on the topic of dealing with loss; upgrade its Web site to allow middle school and high schools students to submit videos on social-emotional learning (SEL) topics of their choice; and expand its capacity for collaboration on video development through a subscription to Dropbox.

None of these initiatives to reach students in Illinois and across the country would have been possible without the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant awarded to the MWAH! Performing Arts Troupe through Illinois Humanities.

As students across the country learn from home and participate in less peer-to-peer interaction due to physical distancing requirements, addressing mental health and SEL topics has become especially important.  MWAH! looks forward to working with students, teachers, and school administrators to provide relevant, engaging content that serves the needs of students whose routines have been altered by the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19.  The MWAH! Performing Arts Troupe wishes you and your families a pleasant and safe Thanksgiving.