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2023 Mayor’s Creative Youth Corps Announced

Local youth to spend six-weeks exploring arts-based leadership opportunities

June 24, 2023 - The City of Albuquerque’s Department of Arts & Culture has announced the selection of the 2023 Mayor’s Creative Youth Corps. Twenty-six high school juniors, seniors, and recent graduates will participate in a six-week paid summer internship program focused on arts-based leadership. This initiative, supported by Mayor Tim Keller and Department of Arts & Culture for the fourth consecutive year, provides internship and career exploration opportunities for Albuquerque's youth. 

"In Albuquerque, we believe in nurturing the creativity and incredible potential of our young people,” said Mayor Keller. "Our Creative Youth Corps get valuable hands-on experience in our local creative economy, as well as training and skills that will stay with them no matter what their bright futures hold.” 

Each participant will be assigned to a different host site and will work closely with mentors or mentor teams to enhance their skills in the creative field. The projects they will undertake are diverse and in previous years included designing and printing original t-shirts, assisting with summer programs for young children, painting murals, creating and editing videos, as well as organizing festivals and events throughout Albuquerque.

 “We take pride in investing time, expertise, and opportunities in local creative youth,” said Dr. Shelle Sanchez, Director of Arts & Culture. “The program equips participants with professional development and valuable skills to bolster their resumes and references as they embark on their career paths. While the goal is for the participants to pursue careers in arts, culture, or public service, the program also teaches them to incorporate creativity into various professional settings and projects.” 

This year’s participants are Cookie Paquet; Adeline Arenas; Lex Kelly; Emily Baron; Briah Brown; Ludo Wilson; Mircalla Rowendolas; Alana Chimenti; Sarita Gonzalez; Ian Yazzie; Sergio Murillo; Kevin Guardado; Alex Schlee; Saja Yaegar; Avrey Walstrom; Melody Ortiz; Anaya Gonzalez; Gerald Peralta; Lilith Ma’ayan; Maxfield Elliott; Joseph Garcia; Annika Santor; Adelio Lechuga Kanapilly; Janae Heffenger; Eliseo Kerkmans-Webb; and Henry Deacon.

 The 11 high schools represented this year include Public Academy for Performing Arts; Manzano High School; Atrisco Heritage High School; Digital Art and Technology Academy; Amy Biehl High School; New Mexico School for the Arts; Bosque Prep; Albuquerque Academy; Cibola High School; Eldorado High School; and ACE Leadership High School. 

In addition to various City departments, partner organizations include The Paper./Ctrl+P Publishing; The Children's Hour Inc.; Fusion; Rail Yards Market; Explora; Albuquerque Museum; Together for Brothers; Fuego Artspace; Julianna Kirwin Original Block Prints; National Institute of Flamenco / Festival Flamenco Albuquerque; Tshirt Lab; Off Center Arts; Airdance New Mexico; 1415 Gallery; La Chancla; and Circo.