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.”


Youth Art Will Be on Full Display for #SoulBasel in #Overtown

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MIAMI – Each year, Art Basel spans three continents and on December 7-10, 2017 it will grace both the shores of Miami and the Historic African American Overtown Community as it does annually.

And youth from Urgent, Inc.’s Rites of Passage, FACE (Film, Arts, Coding & Entrepreneurship) and After School Programs will showcase their talents as part of the Soul Basel experience in Overtown, with, “Our Voice Matters,” a  multi-media collection of art, photography, film and more.

This exhibition is made possible thanks to The Children’s Trust, The Black Archives History and Research Foundation, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau and Miami Dade County.

The voices of youth made possible through the arts will be celebrated for 3-days featuring the work of young artists and filmmakers ages 5-21, and their grandparents too.

The festivities are open to the public, for more information visit here. If you go:

  • Opening Gallery Reception- Thursday, December 7, 3-6pm at the Historic Ward Rooming House Gallery, 249 NW 9th St, Miami, FL 33136. Includes a guided artwork, interactive Photo Booth and youth entrepreneur pop up shop. Presented in partnership with The Black Archives History and Research Foundation.
  • Youth Film Night- Friday, December 8, 4-7pm on the first floor of the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC), 1951 NW 7th Avenue, Miami, FL  33136. Includes youth film screening, popcorn and drinks for $5.  Presented in partnership with Florida Film House.

Community Arts Day- Saturday, December 9, 1-4pm at the Historic Ward Rooming House. Includes a fun-filled afternoon of spoken word, dance, music, art project and so much more.  Presented in partnership with Path to Hip Hop.

Arts Council of Southern #Indiana exhibit showcases work of at-risk youth

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NEW ALBANY — Today marks the start of a month-long art show in New Albany exhibiting the works of at-risk youth as they work through trauma with art.

Kentuckiana's Inspired Building Bridges opens to the public today at the Arts Council of Southern Indiana in New Albany, featuring the portraits of community leaders, painted by students at Maryhurst, a private non profit agency that cares for more than 400 children and families each year, according to a news release.

The annual show, in its eighth year, has been hosted at different cultural spots each year; past locations include the Muhammid Ali Center and the African-American Heritage Museum.

The program pairs the kids with local leaders for interviews and photos the children then use as a marker for painting the portraits. The project not only gives children who may have experienced trauma a creative outlet, but seeks to inspire them by showing them their potential in the community.

Youth group #Groundswell aims to expand #art and #activism work

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In 1996, Groundswell’s first mural went up on a building in Williamsburg. That piece, addressing the topic of tenants’ rights, no longer exists. It’s been whitewashed. But the nonprofit, which is dedicated to student art and activism, is still making its mark across the city with 500 murals and counting.

Robyne Walker Murphy, the social justice organization’s new executive director, has noticed Groundswell’s work as long as she’s lived in New York, some 18 years now.

“These murals were just a part of the landscape — part of my daily walk or just being in the neighborhood,” said Murphy, an art and social justice educator and administrator who joined the organization a year ago. “You would just see them everywhere.”

The murals are a large part of the organization’s mission — working with teaching artists, students primarily from ages 16 to 19, local groups and schools to address issues affecting the community and creating public art that reflects those issues.

“We’re not just painting things to make it really beautiful,” Murphy said. “We’re speaking to issues like police brutality and sexual harassment. We’re also talking about possibility and celebrating the beauty in these communities, too.”

In recent years, Groundswell has also expanded its programming to reach more students and people interested in “artivism” — a portmanteau of art and activism.

#UrbanSquash #Cleveland enriches children on court, in classrooms and is beginning a large expansion (video)


CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Senior Noah Lee described the sport of squash like this: "You're in this room. You have this racquet. You hit a ball against a wall to your other player, and then they try to hit it back."

Sounds easy enough, right?

It turns out squash is a challenging sport, one that requires speed, strength, agility, focus, and coordination, to name a few things.

Urban Squash Cleveland is a youth development organization that implements academic support and enrichment opportunities, along with the sport, to create a sustainable path for students.

The five participating Cleveland schools are Urban Community School, the Cleveland School of Science and Medicine at John Hay and the three campuses of E-Prep - Cliffs, Willard and Woodland Hills.

Iago Cornes, the program's executive director, stressed Urban Squash Cleveland isn't a squash program; it's a youth development program that uses squash as a pillar.

Tryouts and practices are held at Cleveland State and Case. Shuttling the students from school to practice is a major challenge, Cornes said.

However, that will soon be a concern of the past, as a groundbreaking ceremony was held in October for the program's new facility being built at Urban Community School, located at West 47th Street and Lorain Avenue.