Art, writing, and other creative projects—from traditional techniques to contemporary practices—offer teens an opportunity to explore their world while connecting to diverse cultural resources and the community’s wealth of talent and knowledge.
Local and visiting artists, and mentors, teach workshops in an expansive range of disciplines, including photography, poetry, drawing, mural painting, pottery, graffiti, printing and recycled art. A mural wall located at the Northern Youth Project Garden is always available for teens to express themselves freely.
Artworks created by youth are showcased and sold at local venues and events, building self-confidence and introducing them to new community connections and their peers. NYP offers paid art internships. By linking creativity and education to community engagement, NYP’s programs also serve as a vehicle for teens to better understand their role in the community, and take a stand on issues that matter to them.
Although Northern Youth Project teens raise some of their own revenue, it is with the help from many generous individuals, organizations, and local businesses that our programs are made possible. Luciente, Inc., a community-based, 501(c)(3) organization, is the fiscal sponsor of the initiative. The Northern Youth Project garden site is provided by Tres Semillas Foundation, Inc.
In 2015, the Santa Fe Community Foundation awarded Northern Youth Project a coveted Chispa Award, given to organizations who are a shining light (chispa) in their communities and do “a lot with a little.” Other important organizations who have generously supported NYP include Clothing Helping Kids; Con Alma Foundation; United Way of Northern New Mexico; New Mexico Children’s Foundation; Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area; Dr. Gerald J. & Dorothy R. Friedman Medical Foundation, Inc.; Farm to Table New Mexico; Abiquiú Studio Tour; and Owl Peak Farm. More than 2,500 volunteer hours and thousands of dollars worth of in kind goods and services are donated each year to keep our program—and youth—thriving.