YOUTH ACTION COALITION INC

Rating: 5 stars   15 reviews

Issues: Civil Rights, Arts & Culture, Children & Youth

Location: P.O. Box 747 Amherst MA 01004 USA

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.
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

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

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 none other. I found myself, my voice and my path by participating in YAC programs and I know my friends and peers could say the same. YAC also helped steer my art and bring me to my current role as an artist, specializing in video and media work! GET INVOLVED IF YOU"RE A YOUNG PERSON AND AVAILABLE!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

To create their own spaces instead of renting/borrowing/receiving from local places.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

My two daughters have participated in YAC programs. My oldest has participated in Video Vanguard and my youngest in Girls Eye View. Both programs have provided them with the means to express themselves in ways that could not have been possible otherwise. These programs have also giving them confidence as creative thinkers and given the opportunity to work closely with their peers while at the same time strengthening their social network. Youth Action Coalition is a wonderful organization whose model needs to be recreated every where so that today's youth enormous potential can be brought out and shared with the rest of world.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my daughters increase ability of self expression.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

its ability to engage young minds and getting them to express themselves through art.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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