City Celebrates Launch of Community Art Project for Youth

Community Art Project for Youth
Photo: Gephardt Daily/ Arturo Soria

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – September 22, 2015 (Gephardt Daily) — City and community leaders celebrated the launch of a multi-year community arts project Tuesday.

The launch of OurSLC: Claim it!, a collaboration between Salt Lake City’s Sorenson Unity Center and the communities of Glendale and Poplar Grove, was held at the 9-Line BMX Pump Track, 700 West 900 South.

The Glendale Middle School Latinos in Action youth group kicked off the project with the installation of a pop-up art work at one of the future sites of the National Endowment of the Arts-funded program.

The goal of the OurSLC: Claim it! project is to facilitate resident-engaged cultural planning and community arts engagement to enhance the livability of the west side communities through creative place-making.

“This project is unique in the country for employing community arts as a tool for engaging residents in neighborhood master plans,” said Sorenson Unity Center director Chris Peterson. “However, I think the most exciting part about it is amazing opportunity for kids to get artistic. We’re asking participants to adopt one of these three spaces in the neighborhood then use some imagination and teamwork to design artwork for each site.”

Working through a variety of civic engagement activities and programs, youth groups and neighborhood residents will explore what it means to claim their neighborhood, its rich history, diverse cultures and current vitality.

The project will help fulfill community-generated goals outlined in the West Side Master Plan, including activating three identified opportunity zones with the installation of public art. The Salt Lake City Arts Council and the Division of Parks and Public Lands are partners in this project.

Community Art Educators are beginning to work with three youth groups in 84104 neighborhoods to “claim” three key neighborhood public spaces and participate in the collaborative design of three public art installations valued at $19,000 each.

The designs and work generated in the coming months will be featured in OurSLC: Claim It! a multi-media exhibition in February 2016. Another final exhibit and unveiling will happen in winter 2016 at the conclusion of the grant funding. Between now and then, a blog will provide updates on activities and opportunities for community participation on this project.


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