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Phone: 413.253.2158
P.O. Box 747
Amherst
Massachusetts 01004
USA
Website
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Target demographics: Our arts and media projects bring together youth from across the race/class/social spectrum, ages 12-18, offering access to free, high quality arts programming, helping youth break down barriers, and offering a safe space for shared dialogue and creative collaboration.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Arts-for-Change programs serves 60-80 young people annually

Geographic areas served: Amherst and Ware, MA and the surrounding communities

Programs:

Our Arts-for-Change project is comprised of individual programsinterwoven through a shared pedagogy of in-depth art training, social justiceeducation and community organizing.

Through our GirlsEyeView project (photography-based project for young womenrunning in Ware since 1997 and Amherst since 1999), members have launched over45 exhibitions of their work, sold their photographs, led discussions on issuesof growing up female, and engaged in exchanges between the members of Amherstand Ware. In this context they are coming together across the race/class divideand examining critical issues together and creating artwork that speaks totheir concerns.

Get Up Get Down—a social justice public art group active since2000—works with youth in Amherst to create public works that speak to theirconcerns as youth. They have created 2 large-scale 3-D murals (one in town andone in their high school) that speak about consumerism, the aftermath of 9/11and Hurricane Katrina, and identity politics in America, as well as manyindividual artworks, a puppet parade and hosted 2 regional youth conferences intheir early years. They have recently been commissioned to produce artworks andsignage for local businesses and individuals and are making a name forthemselves as youth artists with a mission.

In Video Vanguards (active since 2003), youth of color and allies worktogether as media producers, critics and educators, as they use their videoworks to speak to deep issues of race, class, gender, war, isolation,prejudice, homophobia, juvenile justice. VV has been a beacon for YAC,spearheading our anti-racism work through thought and action. Through thisproject dozens of our youth and adults have been to trainings, led workshops,and disseminated their work to wider audiences. In this space young people ofcolor come together with allies to talk about the effects of living in amajority white area and position their work around these issues.

Our newest program is Our work is powerful and effective in part due to oursmall group sizes (8-15), and each year approximately 60-80 young people enrollin our programs. Yet the effectsare far-reaching—with exhibitions, screenings, festivals, and other actions,our youth participants are reaching hundreds of citizens annually—putting theirvoices and visions out to the community, and building a youth movement forsocial change through the arts.

Mission:
Youth Action Coalition promotes youth empowerment through creative expression, community building, and social action initiatives. We help youth foster their natural talents as artists and build their strengths as community leaders and agents of change.
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10/30/13
I was an intern for the Youth Action Coalition for two years, and was so incredibly impressed with the effect they have on the Amherst and Ware communities in MA. YAC strives to provide a safe space for youth to be creative, build confidence, and learn about how they can improve their communities in... more »
10/28/13
I joined Youth Action Coalition's family as a V.V member when I was a sophomore in H.S. Friends told me to come along to a Video Vanguards meeting and I stayed! The atmosphere created at Amherst Media with other youth and a super group of talented artists and students from Hampshire College was like... more »
10/27/13
Youth Action Coalition meets youth where they are, and inspires deep creativity and social justice at the same time. It is a unique and valued organization that has been a safe place and a place of great hope for many youth... more »
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Latest Photo by YOUTH ACTION COALITION INC
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Latest Photo by YOUTH ACTION COALITION INC

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