NEO hosts coloring contest to ‘keep the lights on after school’ |

NEO hosts coloring contest to ‘keep the lights on after school’

Here is the coloring contest outline. Color and submit to NEO (see directions in the accompanying story) by the Oct. 20 deadline. Winners will be announced Oct. 22 at the NEO Youth Center celebration at the center at 139 Joerschke Drive in Grass Valley.
Submitted by Sophie Dermy |

In order to raise awareness about their new Youth Center in Grass Valley, New Events & Opportunities (NEO) is hosting a coloring contest for youth ages 6-14.

The picture depicts teens hanging out and expressing themselves at the youth center. The drawing was created by NEO Coordinator Sophie Dermy, who has been volunteering with NEO for the last three years.

The age categories for the coloring contest are 6-8, 9-11, 12-14.

The contest will be judged by local high school teens who will choose one winner from each age category to win a Culture Shock Yogurt gift card.

All artwork will be displayed at NEO’s Lights On Open House celebration happening at the youth center on Oct. 22 from 6-8:30 p.m.

Winners will be announced at the event and awarded the gift cards during that time.

Participants don’t have to be present to win, but all ages are invited to attend the event to experience the center and learn how to get involved.

NEO’s open house celebration is a part of a larger, nationwide event called Lights On After School aimed at raising support for after school programs and the many research backed benefits they provide for the community, according to a press release.

After school programs help improve the economy, increase learning, help students succeed in school and improve public safety and health, the press release states.

The NEO Youth Center provides positive engagement for youth in which they make healthier choices, learn skills, make new friends and feel a sense of belonging, the release states.

Submit artwork by mailing coloring pages to P.O. Box 941, Grass Valley, CA 95945, or drop them off at the NEO Youth Center, located at 139 Joerschke Drive in Grass Valley. Coloring pages are due by Oct. 20.

NEO is a local nonprofit organization that focuses on empowering youth to make healthy lifestyle choices through music, art and recreation. It was started in 2008 and opened the Youth Center in March 2015.

The NEO Youth Center provides a safe, supportive and enriching environment for middle and high school youth, according to a press release states.

The free drop-in hours after school allow youth to mix socially with peers, receive homework help, play games and explore their passions, the release states.

NEO also hosts weekly educational and skill-building workshops and various weekend events throughout the year.

So far, NEO has already served over 100 youth at the center and weekly attendance continues to increase.

If you are interested in donating to NEO’s monthly giving campaign to help keep the lights on after school, call 530-470-3869.

Tax deductible monetary donations can be sent to P.O. Box 941, Grass Valley, CA 95945 or can be made online by visiting

Art Works Gallery, Nevada County raise over $3,900 for NEO

Earlier this year, several artist members of Art Works Gallery in Grass Valley brainstormed a way to celebrate the gallery’s five years in business.

The gallery wanted to involve the community and also wanted to raise money for a deserving nonprofit.

NEO – New Events and Opportunities – was chosen as the nonprofit.

To involve the community, Art Works created a work of art made up of modular blocks. Many members of the community purchased a block and created their own piece of art along with all the artists at Art Works Gallery.

Each block was installed into the window creating a huge puzzle of art.

By the time the blank blocks were purchased and the finished art blocks had sold at a Block Party, Art Works Gallery was able to present NEO with a check for over $3,900.

The money will enable NEO to increase programs and hours at the NEO Youth Center located on Joerschke Drive next to Smiley Guys.

“Art Works Gallery is grateful to the Nevada County community for its enthusiastic support of this endeavor and contribution to the support of our youth through NEO, as well as the community’s continued support of the gallery,” said gallery member Priscilla Roach.

Art Works Gallery is a co-op gallery consisting of over 30 Nevada County artists. Paintings, photography, furniture, glass art, ceramics, linoleum block prints, jewelry, wearable art, mosaics, repurposed art, mixed media, wood, wall hangings, and many more items are for sale.

Art Works Gallery is located at 113 Mill St., between Tess’ Kitchen Store and Lazy Dog Chocolateria and is open every day.

Learn more about Art Works Gallery at or call 530-477-1600.

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