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2021 Youth Arts Grantees

Our Youth Arts grant is a 2-year grant that supports equitable access to arts and cultural learning opportunities for Seattle’s middle and high school-aged youth. Programs occur outside of school hours and are led by experienced artists and teaching artists working in communities across Seattle to increase arts and cultural opportunities for young people from diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Data shows that the greatest disparities between young people who have access to arts education and those who don’t are based on race, socioeconomics, home language, and disabilities. As with all the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture’s Creative Youth Programs, the Youth Arts grant prioritizes programs serving young people within the above demographic groups.

Recipients receive a total of $12,000 distributed over two years. In 2021, Youth Arts awarded $144,000 to 21 artists, art/cultural organizations, youth service agencies, and higher education institutions serving youth.

Youth Arts 2021 Funding Awardees

BAYFEST Youth Theatre / BAYFEST Education
“Active Arts” weekly program is for students at Chief Sealth International High School and Denny International Middle School. The project will serve middle and high school students during 37 weekly sessions that will rotate teaching artists through several 3 to 4-week cycles, teaching drama, dance and movement, improvisation, and storytelling, culminating in a joint performance/showing.

Big World Breaks
“Beat Our Future”, is centered within the BWB Drumline, and is an intergenerational Big World Breaks collective of percussionists. will empower High School aged members with paid training and teaching assistant experience in Central and South Seattle programs. Prioritizing Black and brown youth, Big World Breaks will align Teaching Assistants with residency experience and resources designed to support their transition into adulthood; informed by their personal, professional, and artistic goals.

Gay City
Seattle’s LGBTQ Center’s Youth Arts Program is a mentorship program for LGBTQ BIPOC youth. Multidisciplinary artist mentors support the artistic passions and goals of the youth cohort, leading the cohort through a series of workshops, culminating in a showcase of solo performances during the Gay City/Velocity Arts Pride Showcase. The program uses art as a medium to cultivate self-determination practices that boost protective factors and support the decreased risk factors.

Northwest Folklife
Northwest Folklife’s artist residency is aimed at building an intentional experience for Latinx-identifying youth to envision a new future while amplifying and nurturing pride of heritage and community. Led by various culture bearers and established artists in the community, participants are able to work on their craft while engaging with peers and working towards a collaborative vision and presentation.

Penguin Productions
A series of workshops anchored by the Penguin Advisory Council and open to city-wide youth approaching theater skills from an antiracist lens, building body awareness, values-based ensemble building, inclusive storytelling practices, and an intersectional, multi-disciplinary foundation for arts practice and leadership.

Pongo Publishing
Pongo Poetry Project uses personal poetry to facilitate healing among those coping with devastating traumas, such as abuse, neglect, and exposure to violence. Therapeutic poetry writing workshops for King County Juvenile Detention youth will provide young people the opportunity to process severe trauma through creative expression. Youth derive short and long-term benefits, including emotional relief, therapeutic healing, and a healthy coping mechanism to use when encountering future challenges.

Sawhorse Revolution
Sawhorse Revolution’s Design/Build Program Suite provides a 120-hour program focused on designing and building a unique community structure. Working alongside professional carpenters and designers, youth will gain experience in STEM skills while developing their sense of creativity, imagination, and ability to see the built world as an artistic medium which changes along with styles, technologies, and cultural adaptations.

Seattle Repertory Theatre
The August Wilson Monologue Competition introduces high-school students to the work of August Wilson—celebrated Black playwright whose “American Century Cycle” of 10 plays depicts the African-American experience in each decade of the 20th century with dynamic casts of characters that students can identify and empathize with. Through workshops, small-group coaching, and a multi-round competition, students prepare a monologue and compete for a spot in the national competition on Broadway.

Spectrum Dance Theater
Global DanceSpeak and Dance For All Week include classes and workshops that provide a vibrant exchange with Seattle-based artists from a range of dance genres. Participants will be introduced to the fundamentals of multiple global dance practices including, but not limited to, West African, Afro-Modern, Street Dance, and Contemporary.

TeenTix’s M-TAC & The New Guard project connects teens with artists and arts administrators within the Seattle community. We prioritize youth and mentors who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color with the goal to advance racial equity across the arts and cultural sector. This multidisciplinary mentorship program creates the space for young people to hone their craft, explore a career in the arts, and help break down racial and social barriers in the arts.

The Residency
The Residency builds a powerful community of young hip-hop artists equipped with the artistic and leadership skills, business acumen, and mentorship necessary to become professional artists and cultural change makers. Audio Engineering Internship & Studio Sessions offers young artists the opportunity to gain in-depth sound engineering skills and record their own music and learn the ins and outs of a true music recording session.

Youth in Focus
Creative Career Cohort is a career-connected program for BIPOC youth to learn photography and digital media. Youth receive a stipend, job training in creative industries, work on professional projects in collaboration with our corporate partner, and develop their portfolio. In addition, students gain job interview skills, plus the social capital of a professional network. Following the program, participants are eligible for hire on photo shoots, event photography, and commissioned projects.

Youth Arts 2020-2021 Second Year of Funding Awardees

206 Zulu
Beats to the Rhyme is a 12 week, after school program that offers young artists (of color) education with the music industry, songwriting and a comprehensive insight in related fields while providing access to music production and technology, of whom may otherwise not have access to such facilities and resources. Youth collaborate to record an original album, film and release a music video and present their completed works at a live concert.

Extraordinary Futures
Extraordinary Futures After School Sessions will take place weekly at the Massive Monkees Studio: The Beacon in Seattle’s Chinatown/International District (CID). The sessions will be led by master instructors and mentors from the Massive Monkees dance crew where participants gain dance, life and leadership skills through Hip-hop and arts-based programs. At the end of the school year the students will perform and compete at the annual school verses school Massive Break Challenge Championship.

Gage Academy of Art
Teen Art Studios (TAS) provides a free year-round program increasing access to arts education for youth ages 11-18 through weekly drop-in sessions: each with a hot meal and all materials provided. This program specifically focuses on the first bi-lingual TAS program in South Park, which serves 150 predominately Latinx and Spanish-speaking youth.

Jack Straw Foundation
The Blind Youth Audio Project will allow for blind and visually impaired youth to work with a team of theater artists, musicians, sound artists, radio producers, installation artists, and audio engineers in Jack Straw’s professional recording studios. New and returning students will learn to create radio theater, sound effects, and soundscapes; conduct interviews, tell stories with sound, and create music. Students will share their work through an event, podcast, or online.

Joyas Mestizas
Regional Dances of Nayarit and Baja California are two new regions that Joyas Mestizas will add to our performance repertoire. These new dances will showcase different elements of Mexican culture and provide a challenging and exciting opportunity for young performers to enhance their existing understanding of folklorico dance and Mexico.

Lauren Holloway
Art of Resistance & Resilience is a student-led art activism club based out of Franklin High School. The club partners with local social and environmental justice activists and organizations to gain an in-depth understanding of chosen social and environmental justice issues that impact their communities. This exchange helps prepare them for the creation of large collaborative public artworks based on themes investigated. Art projects include murals, screen printing, banners, signs, buttons, and other projects that students choose.

Totem Star
The Studio allows youth to book after-school studio sessions on a weekly basis, where they work with teaching artists for one-on-one vocal and/or instrument lessons, participate in jam sessions, program digital beats, receive assistance with songwriting, compose and record original songs, and more. Young artists learn 21st century life skills and take creative risks in a safe and encouraging environment, building a positive and supportive community.

Urban ArtWorks
The Urban ArtWorks’ Mural Apprentice Program (MAP) provides arts-based employment opportunities for young people with barriers to employment and education. Teens work together with professional teaching artists to learn fundamental art skills, research, design, and install murals throughout King County and beyond. MAP encourages participants to set goals, take positive risks, and assists youth in navigating the choices and behaviors that best help them accomplish those goals.

Young Shakespeare Workshop
The Young Shakespeare Workshop Summer Session is a free program for youth, ages 11-19, which strives to equip students with language and expressive skills through the study and performance of the works of William Shakespeare. Students begin work with sonnets, progressing to speeches and scenes during their first year and production of full length plays as returning students. They study text, voice and fencing. Returning students rehearse a fully costumed touring production of a full length play.