The Sanctuary for Independent Media is gearing up for our 11th year of “Uptown Summer,” with 5 weeks of youth empowerment in collaboration with Rensselaer County Summer Youth Employment Program. Uptown Summer 21 will offer an exciting creative convergence around environmental justice stewardship, arts and science.
The program runs from July 6 (or July 13) – August 6, in person on Monday-Friday mornings 8am-noon. An additional 5 hours per week will be scheduled for each youth individually, including Youth Health Sanctuary in person on Fridays 5-7, or independently from home. All youth are employees of Rensselaer County and are covered under the County’s insurance and liability.
Key goals include maintaining a safe working environment, balancing physical labor and creative media, science and art exchange, to amplify voices and make positive changes in our community. Work projects are designed to build infrastructure and outreach with Youth Media Sanctuary, Youth Health Sanctuary and Youth Science Sanctuary, using media, science and art to address inter-sectional issues of health and justice in our North Central neighborhood. Measurable tasks include developing nature walks through thriving urban gardens, developing peer training for mental health for local youth, learning about community science and testing soil, and producing local community stories with interdisciplinary media production.
Job titles include a holistic blend of professional and creative life skills, including social media and radio producer, urban gardener, mental health peer mentor, community scientist, artist and creative entrepreneur. Special requirements include being curious and open minded, willing to take risks, willing to express oneself through public speaking, writing and other creative modalities, and demonstrating the ability to work collaboratively in an environment of shared care, trust and respect.
8:00-8:30 Opening circle @CCG
8:30- 9:55 Gardening and maintenance of CCG Campus
9:55-10:00 Transition to Sanctuary Space/ Upper Carriage House
10-10:30 Skill development
10:45-11:30 ACTION SESSIONS
M Youth Health Sanctuary (Health Healing Hope listening circles and leadership training)
T Youth Media Sanctuary (Radio Production, NATURE Lab Art Trail Sound Walk)
W Youth Science Sanctuary (Community Science with Soil: Our Soil, Norlite)
Th Youth Media Sanctuary (Social Media Production, Photography, Writing)
F Youth Health Sanctuary (Health Healing Hope)
+ Special Art Projects
11:30-11:45 Chores (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pin0u2h0d-qDvOkuRbgGFZ–WhiyEkUw5U5_XXfJwTs/edit?usp=sharing)
11:45-12:00 Closing circle
+ 5 additional hours per week: Open hours at home: social media production, plus in person Fridays 5-7pm Youth Health Sanctuary
The five weeks will be structured as:
• 7/06 Week 1: Trust & Generative Themes
• 7/13 Week 2: Skills & Awareness
• 7/20 Week 3: Action
• 7/27 Week 4: Agency
• 8/3 Week 5: Wrapping it up!
COVID Safety Plan
Although Rensselaer County has finally lowered the warnings of risk, we still want to be very conservative when it comes to our participants’ health. Here are our protocols.