Teen Mural Program
ARTsmart believes strongly in the power of arts and the creative process to help guide young people in making positive choices in their lives. Over the years ARTsmart has had the good fortune of working with Santa Fe teens to develop and implement community youth mural projects designed specifically to support positive youth development while simultaneously beautifying communities and strengthening relationships within communities and neighborhoods throughout Santa Fe County.
Past experience has taught ARTsmart’s staff that teen youth benefit tremendously from learning experiences that invite them to engage as professional artists working to create something meaningful and lasting for a client or neighborhood. To that end, ARTsmart has extended the Youth Mural Program to include a more detailed component aimed at guiding and mentoring teen youth in understanding how to work collaboratively on a project for a client.
Program goals for students are:
- Developing creative and critical thinking skills
- Promoting a positive change in the form of self and community awareness
- Developing and refining aesthetic appreciation and artistic mastery
- Overcoming socioeconomic boundaries
- Developing skills in problem-solving and team-building
- Fostering cultural value and community identity
The 2016-17 murals created in collaboration with middle school students from El Camino Real Academy were made possible by the Santa Fe Hestia Fund.
Youth Development Program
Through a partnership with Dollars4Schools Santa Fe, ARTsmart offers meaningful and constructive art classes on a monthly basis at the Santa Fe County Youth Development Center (SFCYDC). The center serves youth from Santa Fe, surrounding counties, pueblos, and the US Marshals Service. These youth stay in the facility from one day to two weeks.
The broader goal is providing incarcerated youth with tools for healthy self-expression that they can reference and practice after exiting the center. A ripple effect is benefiting their interpersonal relationships with family, teachers, and employers. By providing a service to the most at-risk youth, ARTsmart responds to the community needs for meaningful safe activities for troubled teenagers.
ARTsmart program outcomes and goals are in line with and facilitate the SFCYDC Mission “to provide a safe, secure, structured, caring, and learning environment. Through meaningful interaction and role modeling, we strive to develop in our youth the character traits of honesty, respect, and responsibility.”
Partnerships with Site Santa Fe
SITE Santa Fe is a non-profit contemporary arts organization that creates significant experiences for visitors by presenting the most innovative visual art of our time in new and engaging ways. ARTsmart is proud to have partnered with them for many years and in 2015 Marie Watt served as a visiting artist who worked with Tierra Encantada Charter School students at SITE to create a beautiful tapestry of embroidered animals in their “Sewing Circle Project”. The tapestry was auctioned during our Annual Dinner & Auction and proceeds went to Tierra Encantada Charter School.