Uptown Summer 2015: Bio-Art in an Industrial Wasteland

Uptown Summer ’15 youth produced digital stories within our media arts and urban environmental education campus on 6th Ave.  They explored neighborhood history as well as ongoing arts, preservation, and environmental remediation activities.  Young people developed media literacy skills—both technical and and critical— to address the health and welfare of their communities.

Leveraging experience, infrastructure and connections developed over the past decade, the goal is to create a rich media environment covering the area—low power FM radio, digital story videos, signage and sound for walking tours, social networking applications and more.

Youth also collaborated with internationally recognized artist residents as part of a National Endowment of the Arts funded Sanctuary program, BioArt in an Industrial Wasteland.


  • National Endowment for the Arts, BioArt in an Industrial Wasteland

Artists included Brandon Balengee, Oliver Kellhamer, and Sanctuary Artist/ Mentor Jillian Hirsch.

  • Rensselaer County Summer Youth Employment Program

Youth work twenty-five hours a week and are paid through the program’s funding.  As a worksite supervisor, you work closely with our office staff to ensure a fulfilling job placement for the participants.

  • Green Screen Troy

“Green Screen Troy” brings teens and creative professionals together on multimedia projects to address neighborhood development and environmental issues in North Central Troy.

  • DFCC (Troy Drug Free Community Coalition)

Youth Media Sanctuary had a media training workshop, “Positive Stories of Youth in Our Community.” They reviewed media literacy messages, reflecting upon growing up in a commercially saturated world that pushes materialism, violence, drugs and unhealthy lifestyles.  They built upon their personal experiences growing up in neighborhoods plagued by drugs and violence.  Created by youth, for an audience of youth, they produced positive media messages of hope. 

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About The Sanctuary

We use art and participatory action to promote social and environmental justice and freedom of creative expression.

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