The Mayor’s Creative Youth Corps offers arts-based youth development – City of Albuquerque


July 27, 2021 – Thirty-one local high school students, juniors, seniors and recent graduates representing 18 high schools have formed the 2021 Mayor’s Creative Youth Corps, a six-week paid summer internship program for the professional development of young people interested in artistic leadership . Opportunities. Mayor Tim Keller and the City of Albuquerque Department of Arts and Culture are invested in internship and career exploration opportunities for Albuquerque youth and this year’s group is the second to complete the program.

The Mayor’s Creative Youth Corps offers Albuquerque’s creative youth a safe and meaningful opportunity to develop their skills, build a professional network, and prepare for the future.

In 2020, Mayor Keller and his team redesigned the 21-year-old Mayor’s Art Institute and launched the Mayor’s Creative Youth Corps to strengthen and diversify the portfolio of leadership in the creative sector of Albuquerque for years to to come.

Each participant was assigned to a different host site and worked closely with a mentor or team of mentors to develop skills in the creative sector. Among the projects, participants designed and printed original t-shirts; sustained summer programs for young children; murals; videos created and edited; and prepared for festivals and events across Albuquerque.

“Pairing young creatives with local arts and cultural organizations gives them a real-world glimpse of career paths and the variety of opportunities that exist in our creative sector.” said Mayor Keller. “We want young people interested in artistic and cultural leadership opportunities to know that their talents are in demand right here in Albuquerque.”

“We are committed to providing paid internships to provide diverse students with important professional education and skills to help them build their resumes and the references they need to land their next advancement opportunity,” explains director of arts and culture, Dr Shelle Sanchez.

Participants included Alonso Estrada; A Pham; Anele Coleman; Anne Lechuga-Kanapilly; Arielle Roybal; branch of Alin; Dahlia Jarjusey; Damaya Cantou; Esme Betsch; Hazel Valente-Compton; Jimmy Larson; Jonathan Martinez; Kaidin Jarjusey; Kalyn Flores; Kathey Morales; Kenia Andrade; Makai Salazar; Maria Calle; Marisol Vela; Maya Espinosa-Chavez; Mayahuel Aranda; Meztlitonali Bennett-Pérez; Mia Thomas; Miriam Reichsfeld; Natasha Colon; Sade Smith; Sarita González; Sophie Anderson-Haynie; Tom Nayder; Sonia Horta; and Haley Watchman.

The schools represented were the Academy of Albuquerque; Albuquerque High School; Albuquerque Institute for Mathematics and Science; Amy Biehl Charter High School; Atrisco Heritage Academy; Bosque School; Career Enrichment Center; Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School; Public Academy of Performing Arts; La Cueva High School; Collaborative charter school in media arts; New Mexico School of the Arts; NEX + GEN Academy; Sandia High School; South Valley Academy; Tierra Adentro from New Mexico; the secondary school of the valley; and Volcano Vista High School.

Host organizations included Children’s Hour; working class; Friends of Valle del Oro; Hispanic National Cultural Center); Laboratory t-shirts; Albuquerque Museum; Together for the Brothers; National Institute of Flamenco; Kitchen of the Three Sisters; Public art; To explore ; Balloon Museum; and Airdance New Mexico.


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