DNDA’s Summer Youth Program (SYP) 2017 at Seattle Housing Authority’s NewHolly and High Point communities has been exciting and successful on many levels!
DNDA’S Nature Consortium provided both NewHolly and High Point resident youth a variety of different classes and activities throughout the summer.
Open Canvas Eco-Mural Project was one of several very successfully programs.
NewHolly Community Builder Phillippia Goldsmith’s idea of connecting NewHolly youth with art, community, and employment this summer came to the attention of DNDA’S Nature Consortium in light of our SYP 2017 program. DNDA hired NewHolly coordinator Keats Landis, and creative and talented DNDA teaching artists Hosanna Tecle and Ellyn Rivers, to lead the project forward.
A group of 7 NewHolly youth were selected by SHA’s community builder Phillippia Goldsmith, and youth counselor Ty Griffiths. Two mural sites were donated, by the owners of Café Red, and SHA’s NewHolly management office.
The goal of the project was to support youth participation in the arts, build leadership skills through art, explore cultural figures, community, environment, history, and the Seattle landscape, and develop a unique visual vocabulary of images and colors. Youth researched murals in and around Seattle as well as creating designs with the support of our teaching artists.
Over the course of 7 weeks, the youth had to create a schedule to complete the project, as well as assist in coordinating meetings with Lisa Dressler, Yeggy Michael, Zenia Pakker (videographer) and their artist leaders.
The group met 2 or sometimes 3 times per week for 3 hours over the course of 6 weeks.
We at DNDA, our participating youth, and the NewHolly and Othello/MLK communities, are proud and excited about the paintings created by these talented youth. The participants learned the importance of maintaining their responsibilities toward a job every week, and committed themselves to the project as well as showing respect for their artistic guides and community leaders.
The short insightful video documentary by Zenia Pakker underscores the success of the project. Watch below!