School is back in session, and we are so happy to see our SW Interagency Academy youth refilling the classrooms and corridors of Youngstown! SWIA is more than an occupant of our building; they are our future leaders. As an arts and cultural program, and year 2 participants in The Creative Advantage (through Seattle Office of Arts and Culture and Seattle Public Schools), Youngstown has the unique opportunity to enrich the high school experience of the SWIA students through integration of various art forms into their school day.
Last year’s offerings of visual arts, music, dance and poetry resulted in a diverse and beautiful year-end showcase. Members of Youngstown’s tenant organizations and Interagency Academy leaders turned out to show their support, and the teaching artists radiated with pride in their students’ newfound confidence and growth. I even jumped on the drum set for a mini jam session with teaching artist Aaron Walker-Loud, to which Interagency Staff danced and chanted in a moment of celebratory bliss. It was a milestone event.
We’re on track for bigger and better this school year – welcoming back our vets, and excited to introduce newcomers to our vibrant community. Already, we’ve expanded our vision for SWIA’s “Circle” time, bringing in DNDA Staff Members Nafasi Ferrell and Nicholas Poccia to facilitate open discussion between the students to encourage getting to know each other, and to foster a sense of ownership of their space. Nafasi and Nicholas wish to ultimately co-create an experience for the students that is both inspiring and relevant to their life paths.
Arts for ALL!
Youngstown Manager, SW Arts Team Member