Uptown Summer

In collaboration with Rensselaer County Summer Youth Employment, Uptown Summer is a 5-week leadership program that amplifies voice of Rensselaer County teens. Youth Sanctuary teens work side-by-side with community leaders, media professionals, renowned artists, college professors, scientists, historians, college interns from around the country, and many others. We work together to address the environmental damage done to this block through years of neglect and industrial pollution and to tell homegrown stories of hope and justice.

Uptown Summer 21 offers an exciting creative convergence around environmental justice stewardship, arts and science.   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 intersectional 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.

Initiated in 2011, Uptown Summer is a youth employment program combining art, science and community activism through environmentally themed multimedia projects at the Sanctuary for Independent Media and in the Collard City Growers gardens. Local youth use interdisciplinary media to have a voice in their community, and investigate urban ecosystems as environmental stewards. Students gain the skills and knowledge to create their own narratives through different modes of storytelling.

Check out past Uptown Summers!

Uptown Summer ’20 participants split their time into morning sessions of socially distant gardening in Collard City Growers and virtual afternoon sessions learning branding, social media content creation, radio production and technical media skills.

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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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