On Friday December 19th I attended the WHO ARE YOU(TH)? event at the Trade Pop Up on the east side of Providence which was put on by Youth In Action. This exhibit was really cool and insightful. I thought the youth worked really hard and put this art gallery together well and put a lot of thought and detail into it. When I first walked into the gallery there were two youth that were greeting you at the door. They introduce themselves, the project, and what it was about. They explained that the event was about the social injustices in our society, how they see their own identities, and what the identities of others look like. I liked this because I knew exactly what was going on I didn't have to try and figure it out on my own. They had all different types of art pieces along the walls. The first one that I saw consisted of multiple people's pictures with quotes on where they came from and how they feel about that and what makes them want to push for change. One of the quotes on the wall said, "I grew up in a predominantly white middle class area, and this bothered me, so I set out to find answers." This one stood out to me because I could relate to it. Other quotes were longer and some were shorter but all of them were well written and interesting to read. Some of the youth really have some deep thoughts. Some were more in depth on how they feel they are perceived and how the places they come from are.
Another area of the exhibit had projects where the youth had written their own stories in real books, they chopped up the pages and wrote over the text with their own stories they wanted to tell. One youth told a story about their gender identity and how they wished gender was not a real thing, and how categorizing gender is delusional and makes no sense.
The next art project was a voice recording on interviews youth held with strangers. This was powerful to be one on one with the recording. I was really focused on what the people were saying because it's very personal sitting alone with headphones on. There were other projects where there were statistics that had responses on them with sticky notes.
The space was loud and noisy but everything made sense and flowed rather well. The youth knew what they were doing and they led the whole event which I thought was amazing. The adults were walking around blending in with the crowd and just supporting the youth and making sure they had everything they needed which I thought was nice. It was amazing to see how powerful youth can be and how they see themselves in such a big and troubled world and how they feel about what needs change.
This was an event that was part of Youth In Action and it was an art gallery showing but Youth In Action does a lot more then that but as far as art galleries done by youth New Urban Arts is a program that focuses on art work done by high school youth. They are all about the Arts which is different then what Youth In Action does but it was something similar to what the youth at Youth In Action were doing. Here is New Urban Arts website:
Another place that focuses on art is AS220 and their website:
Here is another link that is set towards youth with Dyslexia and how these programs help them achieve the artistic abilities and showcase them in different areas of the country. There are two websites here one for the home page of the site and one for the link to the art work some youth have done.
Below are some pictures of the event that took place on December 19th. I wasn't sure if I was allowed to take pictures but these are a few from that night.