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Mayor's Creative Youth Corps Provides Arts-Based Youth Development

Second Cohort Successfully Completes Summer Internship.

July 27, 2021 - Thirty-one local high school juniors, seniors, and recent graduates representing 18 high schools made up the 2021 Mayor's Creative Youth Corps, a professional development, six-week paid summer internship program for youth interested in arts-based leadership opportunities. Mayor Tim Keller and the City of Albuquerque Department of Arts & Culture are invested in internship and career exploration opportunities for Albuquerque's youth and this year's group is the second to complete the program.

The Mayor's Creative Youth Corps provides Albuquerque’s creative youth a safe and meaningful opportunity to develop their skills, build a professional network, and prepare for the future.

In 2020, Mayor Keller and his team re-imagined the 21-year-old Mayor’s Art Institute and launched the Mayor's Creative Youth Corps in order to strengthen and diversify the pipeline of leadership in Albuquerque’s creative sector for years to come.

Each participant was assigned to a different host site and worked closely with a mentor or a team of mentors to develop skills in the creative sector. Among the projects, the participants designed and printed original t-shirts; supported summer programming for young children; painted murals; created and edited videos; and prepared for festivals and events across Albuquerque.

"Pairing young creatives with local arts and culture organizations provides them with real-world insight into career pathways and the variety of opportunities that exist in our creative sector," said Mayor Keller. "We want young people interested in artistic and cultural leadership opportunities to know that their talents are in demand right here in Albuquerque."

"We have committed to offering paid internships to provide diverse students with important professional training and skills to help build their resumes and the references they need to land their next opportunity for advancement,” explains Arts & Culture Director Dr. Shelle Sanchez.

Participants included Alonso Estrada; An Pham; Anele Coleman; Anne Lechuga-Kanapilly; Arielle Roybal; Aumin Branch; Dahlia Jarjusey; Damaya Cantu; Esmé Betsch; Hazel Valente-Compton; Jimmy Larson; Jonathan Martinez; Kaidin Jarjusey; Kalyn Flores; Kathey Morales; Kenia Andrade; Makai Salazar; Maria Calle; Marisol Vela; Maya Espinosa-Chavez; Mayahuel Aranda; Meztlitonali Bennett-Perez; Mia Thomas; Miriam Reichsfeld; Natasha Colon; Sade Smith; Sarita Gonzalez; Sophie Anderson-Haynie; Tom Nayder; Sonia Horta; and Haley Watchman.

Schools represented were Albuquerque Academy; Albuquerque High School; Albuquerque Institute for Math and Science; Amy Biehl Charter High School; Atrisco Heritage Academy; Bosque School; Career Enrichment Center; Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School; Public Academy for Performing Arts; La Cueva High School; Media Arts Collaborative Charter School; New Mexico School for the Arts; NEX+GEN Academy; Sandia High School; South Valley Academy; Tierra Adentro of New Mexico; Valley High School; and Volcano Vista High School.

Host organizations included Children’s Hour; Working Classroom; Friends of Valle del Oro; National Hispanic Cultural Center); T-Shirt Lab; Albuquerque Museum; Together for Brothers; National Institute of Flamenco; Three Sisters Kitchen; Public Art; Explora; Balloon Museum; and Airdance New Mexico.