Elorza and Goncalves visit AS220 Youth

Elorza and Goncalves visit AS220 Youth

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and Kadeem Leslie (Office of Economic Opportunity) speak to AS220 Youth member Clarissa. Photo courtesy of the City of Providence.

On August 19th, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and Providence City Councilman John Goncalves visited AS220 Youth at their studio on the third floor of our Empire Street complex in downtown Providence.

Since July 12th, 35 young people – 10 funded by One Providence for Youth and 25 funded by the Governor’s Workforce Board Real Skills program – have been employed by AS220 Youth’s summer jobs program. All of these young artists are working on the sixth FUTUREWORLDS production, a filmed “visual album featuring music, performance, and media exploring themes of economic justice and impacts of the pandemic on BIPOC communities.” 

Apparel Coordinator Trent Lee shows student work to Providence City Councilman John Goncalves, while Youth member Naomi contemplates the next stitch. Photo courtesy of the City of Providence.

Both the Mayor and Councilman were impressed by what they saw, with Elorza saying “Real-life experiences like the ones provided by AS220 allow our youth to explore new areas of interest, develop workplace skills, and build on the knowledge they gain in the classroom during the school year.” Goncalves remarked “This is the power of investing in our youth and keeping them engaged.”

AS220 Youth provides educational opportunities for young artists in both Live Arts (dance, music, performing arts) and Visual Arts (apparel, digital media, visuals). This work would not be possible without our incredible Youth staff, Teaching Artists, and Youth Council members.

In the next few weeks we’ll be revealing more details about the FUTUREWORLDS visual album, which will be premiering at PRONK! on October 7th & 8th! According to Olivia Watson, AS220 Youth’s Associate Director, “everyone is working toward the visual album: mural backdrops, costumes, choreography, music are all in the process of being filmed.” Stay tuned!

Want to support this work? CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO AS220 YOUTH!

Mayor Elorza and Councilman Goncalves in the beatmaking studio with members Jay Lew, John, Kelly, Alondra, and Performing Arts Manager Saulo Castillo. Photo courtesy of the City of Providence.