Inspiration From This Summer: POWER Youth!

Updated: Oct 20

It may be fall already, but we have so many fond memories of our partnership with Metro Action Commission's POWER Youth Program. This summer youth employment program, formerly known as Opportunity NOW, leveraged the arts to support 139 youth (ages 14-15) who were placed with nine area nonprofits and businesses for summer jobs. Keep reading to be inspired by these youth and organizations in our community!


Edgehill Neighborhood Partnership: Arts Discovery Program

The Arts Discovery Program provided an opportunity for youth to explore various artistic careers. Each week, they learned a new artistic skill and assessed their viability in pursuing that art medium as a career path. At the end, youth worked together to create an exhibition to showcase their work, contributing to community building within the Edgehill and larger South Nashville community.


From the Heart International Education Foundation: Music in the Making - Code, Create and Perform (C3P)

Music in the Making: Code, Create and Perform (C3P) provided 24 youth an opportunity to work in a tech-infused musical workplace. Introducing the intersectionality of technology and traditional music was a primary focus to motivate new and aspiring youth to the arts. Youth experienced a unique arts program and gained valuable job-related skills such as live music coding, artist interviews, setting up for performances (Roady), project work plans, and inventory of equipment. Programs such as C3P are effective skills accelerators that teach specific technical skills (from coding to digital marketing to live performances) through intense sessions with a strong career focus and ultimately better equip them to succeed in a globalized society.


Global Education Center: We Are All Related - A Musical Theater Creation

Under the direction of Dance Director Luis Alejandro Rivera, youth created an original musical theater piece that highlights the commonalities of all people and emphasizes that we are all members of the human family regardless of our multiple self-identities. Youth were introduced to various components of musical theater, including music, voice, dance, set design, production, and performance. Each component of the program encompassed broad knowledge and understanding of how different arts traditions weave together to give voice to our history, validate our present, and encourage our futures. Youth also learned vocabulary and history of musical theater; engaged in individual and small-group choreography; chose accompanying music; created original pieces; experienced role-playing and dialogue-sharing; and developed performance evaluation skills.


King's Daughters Child Development Center: Arts Enrichment Program

Youth participating at King's Daughters learned about chosen art forms, including theater, literary arts, and music-- and careers related to that art form. They planned arts-related lessons for young children, led arts-related activities, learned about and utilized positive discipline in classroom settings, and collected and analyzed student feedback to inform future lessons. They also collaborated with team members to create arts-related projects including a school-wide project, used feedback from mentors to make productive changes in planning and teaching approaches, and participated in question and answer sessions with guest speakers in arts- or education-related career fields.


Moves & Grooves: ARTrepreneur Project

The ARTreprenuer Project focused on supporting youth in building their artistic talents to serve a greater purpose in their community. They were challenged with identifying a community issue and creating a revenue-generating idea to bring greater awareness to the issue. Participants acted as teaching assistants, team leaders, and understudies as they shadowed local entrepreneurs to gain knowledge of how to plan and design a business from concept to creation. Students also worked with local professional artists to establish a climate survey of needs, learn how to incorporate film and music to tell a story, and learn the facets and techniques in various fields to be able to further their artistic abilities. The summer concluded with a "Shark Tank" style pitch show where they presented their designs and business concepts to business leaders from the community.


Notes for Notes: Into the Mix - Journey of a Song

Youth were immersed in the core of the music-making process as they worked together in collaborative, music-making environments. Three N4N Producers acted as program leads, mentors, and musical guides to youth through the music-making process. Over the 7-week summer project, youth teams held jobs in each of the three Nashville studios in three teams each consisting of musicians, producers, artists and songwriters. Teams worked together to create a collaborative 7-song album as they explored potential music industry jobs.


Prado Studio: Creative Placemaking Apprenticeship & Mosaic Mural Creation

Local artist team Jairo and Susan Prado facilitated a 7-week public art apprenticeship program at Prado Studio. During the 2-week zoom portion of the hybrid work experience, team members and peer leaders learned about creative arts-based careers, heard from multiple local guest artists/speakers, received guidance about designing their own resume for future job/college applications, and received training for a variety of job skills. They also learned about the history and process of mosaic-making, which inspired the design for our project. The 5-week in-person time at the studio focused on the development of a mosaic mural that represents the stories of the Sisters of Mercy and their contributions to the health, educational opportunities, and quality of life for our Nashville community. Youth took on a number of specialized roles related to mosaic construction. Friends and families attended a showcase on their last day, celebrating their accomplishments and efforts.


Southern Word: Creating Cultural Centers Through Words and Music

Through the POWER program, Southern Word convened two teams of youth artists to create and distribute artistic content centered around writing and music. Youth engaged in songwriting, poetry, and music production while developing the skills necessary to market and distribute that content. Southern Word convened youth writers and music producers with their adult counterparts, offering youth the opportunity to build the fundamental skills necessary to produce and distribute integrated writing and music pieces. The project delivered three art showcases across the Nashville area.


Turnip Green Creative Reuse: Sustainability & Arts Youth Program

Youth acquired several work-readiness skills by engaging in Turnip Green Creative Reuse's areas of service: Green Galleries, Open Studio, Creative Reuse Center, the community garden The Turnip Seed, and education/outreach, all of which support Turnip Green’s mission of fostering creativity and sustainability through reuse. Youth were divided into groups based on their interests and how they relate to Turnip Green’s areas of service, and worked on a collaborative project which was presented at the end of their internship.


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