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Empowerment Through Creativity

ANCOVA EMPOWERMENT PROJECT is an organization designed to empower young people who have faced behavioral, social, economic, or legal challenges. The students in our program have positive and constructive experiences while gaining life skills and learning how to overcome obstacles to their success. By working with accomplished professional artist/teachers on high-level projects such as films, musical recordings, and live performances, AEP students gain interpersonal and technical skills that boost their self-esteem and give them the tools they need to succeed. 


The technical and professional skills that AEP students could learn include film and stage production, writing, visual art, marketing, teamwork, composing, and how to play a musical instrument. 

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Learn, Create, Share

Each twelve week session consists of individual and team lessons with our faculty. In week one, the student begins individual lessons and Learns a technical or artistic skill. At week four the students and faculty begin working in teams to Create an artistic project. At week seven the teams prepare to Share their projects with the public. 


We believe creativity in the arts teaches empowerment in life.


Ancova Empowerment Project (hereinafter “AEP” which includes its faculty, officers, employees, contractors, board members, agents and assigns) is an organization designed to help young people who have faced behavioral, economic, or legal challenges to have positive and constructive experiences while gaining life skills and learning how to overcome obstacles to their success.


AEP does not attempt to practice medicine or give medical advice and is not a healthcare or treatment provider. If there is an emergency, or you are concerned for your safety or well-being please see your physician, psychologist, therapist, guardian, other health care provider, and/or call 911. 


Nothing on this website or in AEP’s curriculum should be taken as medical advice. All visitors are encouraged to consult with a physician, behavioral health specialist, psychologist, psychiatrist, or other licensed medical professional for any form of medical or behavioral health advice.


The use of the website or the services of AEP does not, nor does it intend to establish, a doctor-patient, provider-patient or any other legal relationship between you and AEP.


Transmissions to AEP regarding the health and well-being of any person, in part or in whole, and/or communication with AEP via Internet, email, through this web site, or in person, does not constitute or create a doctor-patient relationship.


AEP disclaims any liability or responsibility under applicable law for the health care or well-being of any potential or actual students or their relatives who may or may not be enrolled in the curriculum.


AEP does not diagnose or treat medical conditions. AEP does not prescribe medications or treatments for anyone using our website or services.


AEP is not responsible for any third-party content that may be accessed through this website.

A huge thank you to all who attended Ancova Empowerment’s Gala 6 on Sunday July 17th! The student film “Perspectives” was a big hit with audience and participants! (Find it on the Film page)


This occasion was a fitting tribute to the accomplishments of the last seven years. In 2015, AEP filed for and was granted a federal 501(c)(3) status. Since that time we have always been solvent thanks to our generous grantors and donors.


I started this program in order to provide opportunities for at-risk young people to work with accomplished faculty members in creating music and film projects which were then shared with the public. For seven years, I believe, we have accomplished our goal.


The time has come for me to announce the closure of Ancova Empowerment Project. Although I feel sadness I do not feel regret. We have been presented with various ways in which to grow the program, reach more young people, and achieve long term sustainability. Unfortunately, in each of these scenarios the program would have been made more superficial and less effective. The loss of quality in these options is not a price I am willing to pay. In a very real sense, the program’s success is its undoing. The program is taking more time and creative energy than I can afford to give.The program we designed and executed was more successful than I ever imagined and for this I am very thankful.


We will be giving away our remaining funds (thousands of dollars) to a deserving non-profit. 


I am very excited about returning to my primary work. I have an opportunity to begin giving concerts again, make a feature film, continue making experimental films and music, pursuing wildlife photography and films, developing my company Pousto Media, pursuing a rigorous training regimen, and of course continuing to teach privately. All of these ventures will be supported under the auspices of my existing organization Ancova International. 

I want to give a heartfelt thanks to all who served on the board of Ancova Empowerment Project, the foundations and private organizations who donated, our many private donors, the workers who contributed their skill and talent, and the incredibly gifted and dedicated faculty members who guided the students in seeking out and connecting our students with the liberating and sustaining power of creativity.

But most of all, I wish to thank our wonderful students. I have gained far more from you than I have given.

Dave Calkins Executive Director Ancova Empowerment Project

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