Meet the Changemakers: What becomes possible when disenfranchised teens become authors of change for the better

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Our founder, Antony Posada was mentioned by nonprofit, Sheltering Arms, which provides services and support to underserved youth and local families to help them out of the cycle of poverty.


How Training Works: A Snapshot

Anthony Posada is surrounded by soda, water, takeout Chinese food, and staff and Youth Corps members, as he launches into “Know Your Rights Training on Police Encounters.” A Legal Aid Society Public Defender, Mr. Posada also founded the non-profit, Project Attica, leveraging his own brand of “artivisim” – social justice-themed art activities that help underserved communities. Posada has been on the wrong side of “stop-and-frisk” himself, so his knowledge goes deep. But so does his belief in the transformative power of art.

“Raise your hand, if you know what your Miranda rights are,” he encourages. Hands spring up everywhere – and fast. “I think you have the right to not give them your name?” someone volunteers. “I got a question,” another member says. “Don’t you have the right to remain silent?” Posada captures their ideas on the board, as the room leans in to decode mystifying laws.

For the role-playing improv on positive interaction with law enforcement, he asks, “Who wants to be the criminal?” Again, hands spring up, as do a few enthusiastic participants. “Sit down and eat your eggroll!” one jovially teases.

After role-playing, Mr. Posada pivots: “I take my cue from you – what’s on your mind most?” A lot, it turns out, based on their responses: “I feel like I would be much better on community boards. It’s a much more personal thing.” “I really want to talk to the elected officials in my community.” “We’re preaching to the choir.” “We need to write this down.”

 

Photos from our #Art and #Activism workshop at CAMBA-Beacon

We were invited by CAMBA-Beacon to conduct an Artivist workshop focused on Anti-Bullying/Anti-Violence. Project Attica conducted two workshops serving 60 participants in total.

CAMBA-Beacons are community centers serving the whole family (children and adults) and offering a variety of services and activities to enhance community engagement and healthy living. Beacons operate after school, during the evening and on weekends and represent city-wide cooperation with the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) and the Department of Education.

All of CAMBA’s Beacon Centers offer Teen ACTION programs, which seek to cultivate an ethic of service, develop life skills and critical thinking skills, develop leadership skills and promote commitment to academic achievement through a chance to engage in structured learning, service projects, and reflection.

Check out our photos below!


Would you like to host one of our Artivism workshops at your school or non-profit? We would love to hear from you! Contact us!

Since 2011, Project Attica has brought Artivism – a free, dynamic, visual art, interactive workshop to students in New York City. Held in middle schools, high schools and community organizations in the city, Artivism provides students with a space to create works of art by expressing their views about social justice issues on wearable canvases. 

Reaching Vulnerable Youth Through #Streetart in #Jamaica

 Jamaica street art image courtesy of  Streetartnews .

Jamaica street art image courtesy of Streetartnews.

The programme was conceived with the intention of finding the good that exists in these communities and using various art forms to highlight these positive elements so that youth living within these communities can use it as an encouraging reference point.

At the same time, it was envisaged that the programme would allow for the creation of a creative space where specifically targeted youth within these communities could learn and express themselves. Within this framework, participants would learn important skills, but more important, they would assist in creating the aesthetic that would better define themselves and their communities. For those who have shown clear artistic talent, they are expected to create at a level where they can become competent in their specialised area. They can even take it a step further and use their art to embark on their own entrepreneurial/professional path. Already, some of the art that is produced in the programme is sold through the Foundation.

Art on the Street is part of The MultiCare Youth Foundation's Visual Arts programme, which also includes the provision of training workshops and guided practice for teachers and students in a variety of art forms, with emphasis on the value of art for creative expression and as a career option.

More ‘inclusive and inspiring’ #publicart expected with city’s plan in #Chicago

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For Kamelia Hristeva, founder and CEO of Green Star Movement, art is about more than paint on walls or the tedium that can come from piecing a mosaic together.

“It creates a sense of place making, a place that’s inclusive and inspiring,” said Hristeva, whose non-profit, art-focused group is responsible for murals, sculptures and mosaics on elementary schools and underpasses throughout the city

“When you beautify a place people care more, it connects to people and helps them connect to different communities and learn about them.”

Through the city’s 50×50 neighborhood art project, Green Star Movement has been involved in creating murals at 65th and 67th Streets and at Belmont and Kenmore Avenues as well as other artworks.

And now more artists will get the opportunity to showcase their art in the city through Chicago’s first public art plan, which aims to showcase and generate more artwork in public spaces.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Friday announced the plan  – a collaboration between the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Department of Transportation, the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Libraries and the Chicago Transit Authority among others.

“It’s the 50 year anniversary of the Wall of Respect and the Picasso sculpture. Those are reflection points for us in charting the history of Chicago and writing a new history,” the mayor said.

“We want to bring the city’s artists together to re-envision our spaces because they are places where we can bring people of different backgrounds together and create a common foundation.”

#Str8Up Life Ministries aims to empower Indy urban youth

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The mission of Str8Up Life Ministries is to help kids in urban communities break the cycle of poverty.

Now they’re looking to expand and help more kids in Indianapolis.

“There’s a sense of despondency right now in youth culture, especially in urban youth culture,” said Str8Up Life founder Aaron Wilson. “For our teens, Str8Up is a bright touch point every week.”

Aaron and Jill Wilson founded the organization 17 years ago to help urban youth living in poverty and the dangerous lifestyle that often comes with it.

It’s grown from their front yard into a youth mentoring camp that reaches about 1,000 kids a year.

“I really don’t know where I would be without them,” said 23-year-old Brionna Tyson, who started attending at 7-years-old. “It’s like you get church on Sundays, but through the weekdays you have Mr. Aaron and Miss Jill.. just so they can try to keep you away from the streets.”

The organization works with schools to reinforce lessons of leadership, academics and life skills in kids who often deal with poverty, broken homes, gangs and drugs.

They’ve inspired others to volunteer, like Pastor Kenneth Johnson, the Indianapolis Colts Chaplain.