Now in our 6th year of collaboration with Rensselaer County Summer Youth Employment, Uptown Summer is a 5-week program that gives voice to North Troy’s teens. Our youth work side-by-side with community leaders, media professionals, renowned artists, college professors, urban gardeners, nutritionists, local volunteers, and others. We work together to repair the environmental damage done to this block through years of neglect and industrial pollutants and to tell homegrown stories of hope and justice.
This summer, our Youth Media Sanctuary producers created four documentary portraits on the theme of abandoned buildings in their economically devastated neighborhoods. “Jerry’s House,” by Kai Griffin, Bryanna Mangual, Diajah Grier, Milan Miles, and Andrew Pintro, tells the story of a family forced out of a deteriorating rental “now abandoned”, with a happy ending of owning a home. “Safer than Yemen?” by Bryan Mangual, Rachel Lord, and Arianna Young, explores violence through the lens of a corner bodega, opened by 1920s Italian immigrants, now transferred to Yemeni owners. Orange and Lex,” by Shatora Buckman, Jahsendah Dann, and Ayisha Menko, shares a razed childhood neighborhood. “Sadie’s Grandma’s House,” by Sadie Anson, recounts restoring a vacant building into a loving home. “Abandoned Building Haikus” were also created, in collaboration with the “Breathing These Words” poetry workshop. Produced by Media Mentors Jamel Mosely, Kathy High, and Branda Miller.
Check out the portraits of our amazing Uptown Summer '16 teens!