In collaboration with Rensselaer County Summer Youth Employment, Uptown Summer is a 5-week program that gives voice to Rensselaer County teens. Youth work side-by-side with community leaders, media professionals, renowned artists, college professors, scientists, historians, 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.
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.
We celebrated 10 years of Uptown Summer in the midst of the pandemic!
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.