International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Youth Futures Students Take to the Air December 11

Good things often come from creative minds, and this is certainly true of Nicole Mermans, the executive director of the D’AIR Project, an aerial dance company located in Atlanta’s Grant Park neighborhood. Ms. Mermans and the IRC in Atlanta first got to know one another back in 2007, when IRC Atlanta applied for a grant from The Merancas Foundation, of which Ms. Mermans’ is a trustee. The grant proposal was successful, and The Merancas Foundation has been a generous funder of IRC Atlanta’s English as a Second Language programs for the past several years.

But in addition to her family philanthropy, Ms. Mermans runs a vibrant dance company that has a community-oriented focus. Founded in 2007, D’AIR Project's mission is to “weave the fabric of the greater Atlanta community together to serve and empower our youth and teens.”

D'AIR Project's teens perform with ribbons in last year's Cultural Revival Performance.
Photo: D'AIR Project

Seeing the natural fit been D’AIR’s work and IRC Atlanta’s Youth Futures program for refugee teens, Ms. Mermans invited IRC to get involved with its aerial dance classes for youth  Two years ago, Ms. Mermans invited IRC Atlanta to participate in her dance company’s aerial classes for teens, and the partnership has grown since then.

This year, twelve refugee teens will be appearing in Cultural Revival VI, the D’AIR Project’s fall dance showcase. To prepare for the performance, Youth Futures teens have been taking dance classes with Nicole each Saturday since September, learning how to master dance on the trapeze, fabrics, ropes, hoops and ladders. This year’s Youth Futures participants hail from Myanmar, Eritrea, and Nepal, and will be appearing alongside the Atlanta area teenage D’AIR Project students.

What:   Cultural Revival VI
When:  Sunday, December 11 at 5:30 pm
Where: D'AIR Project
              575 Boulevard SE Atlanta, GA 30312
              Map it!

Learn more