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Public Art Youth Employment Program

Many Hands Make Light Work

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Many Hands Make Light Work

CAW Youth Apprentices from Queensbridge Houses and Jacob Riis Neighborhood Settlement came together one Saturday to beautify "Baby" Park in Queensbridge. An outpouring of community support created a memorable day and a mural that will last for many years.



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Short Films, Worthy Subjects

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Short Films, Worthy Subjects

The most important connections in our lives are the ones closest to home. This summer, our Multimedia Team created five short films about nonprofits and other organizations that work to improve the quality of life in our city. The subjects include pianos in public places, a grass-roots effort to make improvements to a local city park, an ambitious plan to create murals in Upper Manhattan of 314 North American birds threatened by climate change, and a program that brings soccer and poetry to young NYC residents. Of course, there is also a documentary about Creative Art Works summer Public Art Youth Employment program

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So Much More

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So Much More

Migrations” is part of the The Audubon Mural Project, a collaboration between the National Audubon Society and Gitler &_____ Gallery to create murals of North American birds around Washington Heights, where John James Audubon lived during the last years of his life. The project’s goal is to commission artists to paint murals of 314 species of birds which are threatened by a warming climate.

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We Are Family

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We Are Family

The family that I’ve created outside of my blood
Molded me into the person I want to be
And the greater idea is that my life has just begun
And my train ride ain’t over yet

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Rising to the Top

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Rising to the Top

The 18 Youth Apprentices who designed this mural wanted to offer a message of hope and unity to the young people of the South Bronx, and to inspire them to pursue their passions and make healthy life choices. This message informs the symbolism of the mural. As a storm clears behind them, two PAL kids, supported by lily pads, work together to unlock the magic of their potential futures. The water illy symbolizes resilience and strength, as it gestates in the mud and rises to the top of the pond to bloom as a beautiful flower.

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Lightning Strikes Twice

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Lightning Strikes Twice

Our first set of "lightning interviews" were recorded on only the second day of our summer Public Art Youth Employment program, when our Youth Apprentices were just starting to get a handle on their job responsibilities. We're now past the halfway point, so our young painters and videographers have some experience under their belts. They know their jobs. They know their projects have tight, non-negotiable, deadlines. They know that there are high expectations.

And they are rising to the occasion.

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Six Reasons to be optimistic

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Six Reasons to be optimistic

“How can you NOT be optimistic about the future when you spend your days working with young people?” This summer, we’re going to try to bottle the experiences of our Youth Apprentices the way you might catch a firefly in a mayonnaise jar. Between now and the middle of August, we will be posting regular "lightning interviews" on our social media and in our newsletters. Read on for a six flashes of inspiration.

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Meshack Merills Brings Down the House

Meshack Merills Brings Down the House

"...Our mural began and we finished the plan,
And I just want to say how proud that I am.
I’m blessed for my God, blessed for my people,
Blessed to be up here rather down there with evil. 
Blessed to be on the mural that’s mentioned,
The mural that brings out attention,
The mural that we have invented, 
This is our Ascension!"

On the Job with CAW Youth Apprentice Cyrell Primo

On the Job with CAW Youth Apprentice Cyrell Primo

"...our final proposal to the client was all of our ideas put together... We sorted. We found a way to put it all together, so now everyone’s satisfied with what they see."

CAW Summer Youth Apprentice Cyrell Primo shares her #SummerJobStories and touches on the intersection of music, art and ideas.

 

Spring Awakenings

Spring Awakenings

All art-making is an act of communication. The processes that surround exhibiting artwork — the development of artists’ statements, the receiving of feedback and recognition — are essential elements in supporting the development of a sense of agency: the belief that intentional, creative action can transform the world around us. 

Working from Home

Working from Home

A CAW Youth Apprentice is making a difference in the world without leaving his block. 

Every morning, Tyrese Kierstedt walks out the front door of his apartment building, hangs a left, goes twenty feet and arrives at his summer job. Tyrese is one of several Youth Apprentices who are painting Creative Art Works' third mural for West Harlem Group Assistance, a community-based development corporation dedicated to revitalizing West and Central Harlem communities. The mural is located on the northwest corner of 142nd Street and Lenox Avenue, half a block north of Communities for Healthy Food at WHGA, a food pantry that promotes healthy lifestyles and provides related services to Harlem residents.

Whole Foods Supports CAW on 5% Day

Whole Foods Supports CAW on 5% Day

Buy Groceries, Support Creative Youth Development

On September 16th, Whole Foods will donate 5% of net sales from all Manhattan and Brooklyn Markets to three nonprofits that provide arts programming to New York City communities. Creative Art Works is honored to be one of those beneficiaries. 

New Artwork Blossoms in Isham Park

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New Artwork Blossoms in Isham Park

“To be honest, I’m excited that my name will be on it and it’s in my neighborhood,” she said. “But it’s also great to know that we could build back from what happened a few years ago and create something beautiful.”

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Finding Your Voice

Finding Your Voice

Most people who pass by our Public Art Youth Employment worksites are nothing short of supportive and encouraging, but on very rare occasions, you encounter a detractor. In this short video, Creative Art Works Youth Apprentice Sophia Ridley shares her story about finding her voice when confronted by an aggressive critic. 

Shout out to the wall...

Shout out to the wall...

Each Public Youth Employment Program has a unique personality, depending on the participants, the client, the theme of the project and even the weather. Today we have two different perspectives about youth employment, one mature and reasoned, and one young and joyful. I hope you enjoy both of them. 

Totem Poles, Cave Paintings and a Thunderous Reception

Totem Poles, Cave Paintings and a Thunderous Reception

We have two stories for you this week. First, thunderstorms did not dampen the spirits of a dozen volunteers from CAW's long-time supporters JLL who visited two of our summer mural sites. Second, students in a CAW integrated art unit at the JCC's Math and Literacy Camp got to explore three ancient civilizations -- including exploring the caves of Lascaux with a torch!