ArtsTech’s “Connectors” (formerly Splash Mob) are young local artists that want to develop their artistic talent into marketable skills. The “Connectors” artists start as young interns and now produce commission work for clients, design and implement fine art program including the Mayor’s Nights Club KC events, murals for Kansas City Police Station at 27th and Prospect, and interactive arts programming for Jackson County Family Court youth, among other special projects. The Connectors members have also displayed their artwork on banners flying on Grand Boulevard, been on a KCMO selection committee for the new streetcar art designs, and other community engagement activities.
The Connectors are recruiting interested and talented visual artists, ages 14-19, that would like to improve their artistic and marketable skills under the guidance of practicing art educators. The Connectors meet Tuesday thru Thursday afternoons from 3:30PM – 6:00PM. As commission work and special projects are generated other times will be added to complete the work.
Provides a creative, skill-based program that not only encourages youth to be creative but also teaches youth marketable skills they can use to earn income, which is a major factor in crime and violence reduction. Providing a safe space and caring adult gives young people the opportunity to create items for sale, which is a major boost in confidence and encourages young people to continue in their skill development. These young people are most at risk for victimization and being perpetrators of violence. Project-based activities, safe spaces and safe adults provide avenues to explore the cycle of violence and substance abuse in a manner that promotes expression in indirect ways particularly among introverted or less outgoing youth.
Employment & Training
The ArtsTech Employment and Training program is a new work experience initiative to serve 50 urban youth, ages 14-24. ArtsTech is currently accepting applications to determine eligibility and to teach youth necessary job readiness skills before placement at a local non-profit organization. The state of Missouri and LINC are working together to fund and coordinate this project.
Teens have partnered with ArtsTech and Plain Talk about Diabetes to educate themselves and thousands of community members on COVID-19 and the vaccines; and, WHEREAS, these Youth Health Ambassadors have interviewed health professionals from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center, Kansas City Health Department, and Truman Medical Centers to learn about the impact of COVID-19 on minority communities; and, WHEREAS, information gathered from their research shows minorities are twice as likely to die from the virus, and youths, aged 12 to 17, account for only 8.2 percent of completed vaccinations; and, WHEREAS, each of the student health ambassadors has a family history of diabetes or COVID-19 illness and has pledged to educate at least 100 of their unvaccinated friends and family about the benefits of the vaccine in an effort to dispel common myths and overcome vaccine hesitancy.
Teens In Transition
Teens in Transition (TNT) is an art and life-skills 10-week program for a select group of youth identified by KCPD School Resource Officers as engaging in or being at high risk for exposure to violent criminal behavior. The participants are diverse in age, gender, and gang/group affiliation. ArtsTech would focus its recruitment on KCPD referrals, local alternative and charter schools with youth that are considered at-risk for the same behaviors identified by SROs.
Growing Stronger Longer #2080
“Going Stronger Longer #2080” is a collaborative initiative to change young men of color’s (YMOC) attitudes, perceptions, and understanding of the healthcare system by making it more appealing. This project identifies YMOC’s strengths and enhances existing talents. Using an integrated arts method, assessment findings will determine an individual learning health plan that includes an artistic family history tree to understand their own strengths and obstacles to a healthy lifestyle. Nutrition professionals are part of the team to educate and engage the YMOC on proper nutrition as well as exposing them to healthy options. Addressing the health disparities impacting YMOC is the major goal.
ArtsTech identifies creative and imaginative young minds and support them in their efforts to be entrepreneurial and design fun for their peers. ArtsTech offers a multi-phase youth entrepreneurial and intergenerational project to engage 10-18-year-old youth in designing and creating activities as part of the “Club KC” experience. ArtsTech is uniquely positioned to serve this wide age group because of our emphasis on art and technology. Both art and technology are appealing and age appropriate for the target population and can be easily adapted for skill and age level. Again, this year we are emphasizing S.T.E.A.M.-related activities such as music, fashion, coding, robotics, dance, music, and art. This provides an alternative and diverse venue for youth who are not drawn to sports-related activities.
Educational Support Services
ArtsTech will provide two (2) educational specialists qualified to develop Individual Educational Plans (IEPs), act as youth advocates to promote academic achievement, navigate the potential resources for career exploration and job training, and put youth in the best position to succeed, especially after court involvement has ended. ArtsTech will also provide an educational summit coordinator who will develop a long-term road map for JCFC and other institutions to use as a guide for youth success.
ArtsTech's mission is to better the lives of underserved urban youth through the development of artistic, technical, health, and educational skills.
ArtsTech accomplishes this by operating a center for youth enterprise that provides educational and health services as well as hands-on training in fine arts and digital literacy. Additionally, ArtsTech builds and manages collaborative public/private partnerships that benefit the community.
Project Respeto is an arts-based program that has proven to be highly successful with continued results indicating that youth participants are staying in school, attending at a higher rate than previously recorded, showing a reduction in discipline referrals, and making progress toward graduation. ArtsTech services 50-75 Hispanic and minority youth, increasing the number of service days (including weekends), as well as offering lengthened summer offerings to keep the youth engaged in positive art and prosocial activities.
Integrated Arts Education
Provide an average of 150 hours of service per month at Detention, Jackson House, Hilltop, ArtsTech, and other sites as needed and approved by Family Court. The main objective is to engage JCFC youth in marketable artistic, technical, and academic skill building to be part of the new creative mural economy.