What happens when a JXTA apprentice phases out of their JXTALab studio? How are they supported by the organization that has trained them in developing their artistic skills? What further support do they need to reach their educational and professional goals?
L-R: JXTA staff and partners Sarah Hayosh, Grace Empie, and DeAnna Cummings present the PaCC Initiative to JXTA participants, board and staff on December 13, 2014.
These are the questions among others that a new program at Juxtaposition Arts is seeking to answer through a solution-based approach. The newly launched JXTA Pathways to College and Careers (PaCC) Initiative focuses on providing professional and educational support to a JXTA participant when they time-out of a JXTALab or program, due to our age limits (10-21 years).
This past Saturday, the core pieces of PaCC were presented to JXTA youth participants, board members, current staff and alumni by the initiative’s core team. JXTA executive director DeAnna Cummings reinforced to attendees the organization’s mission of training and employing youth artists as a connection and a pathway to the creative industries in our city. “The art design firms are lacking people of Black, Latino and Hmong backgrounds, specifically,” she pointed out.
Through the year-long PaCC Initiative, the involvement of JXTA teaching artists, youth artists and building upon a 10-year collaboration with the University of Minnesota’s College of Design through ReMix will help to pinpoint specific ways to promote a more diverse art and design industry in the Twin Cities and in the region.”That’s ultimately what our work is about: is that you all grow up and out of JXTA and pursue careers as successful artists and designers in the Twin Cities,” Cummings said directly to the youth present in the audience.
“We want to bring the Twin Cities to equity, where everyone has fair and just access to opportunities, especially related to the built environment. The people making the decisions of the built environment need to reflect the people that live here.” -Kristine Miller of University of Minnesota’s ReMix.
One phase of PaCC was administered by U of M graduate student Sarah Hayosh and JXTA alumni and graphic designer Adrienne Doyle last summer. Qualitative interviews were conducted with a total of 10 current JXTA participants. During their evaluation process, Hayosh and Doyle synthesized the themes and patterns pulled from the in-depth conversations to learn what the biggest challenges JXTA participants face upon their departure from their Labs.
Among the findings, Hayosh reported that almost all of the participants that were attending college at Minneapolis Community Technical College (MCTC) said that affordability was the main reason for selecting that particular institution. Another example presented was the impact of one-on-one relationships the participants have with their lab instructors that often led them to learning about professional opportunities that they otherwise would not have known about.
These findings, along with current JXTA processes such as Listening Sessions and new initiatives like customized opportunity navigation, entrepreneurial direction and technical content-based workshops, will inform the next phase of PaCC. New Sector Alliance fellow Grace Empie will spearhead a number of these projects along with the core PaCC team over the next 11 months. It now stands that 30 young people who have signed up to be a part of this process will be encouraged through these newly designed methods to focus on their personal goals through June.
“Today is a huge celebration,” JXTA staffer and PaCC team member Betsy Altheimer concluded. “This is a hand-off for something that has been an idea for a long time. Now it’s moving into something that is being embedded into what we do at JXTA.”
The Pathways to College and Careers (PaCC) presentation at our 1108 building on December 13, 2014.
SPECIAL THANKS: We could not do this work without the support of our partners and funders, Sundance Family Foundation, Youthprise, Bush Foundation, Otto-Bremer Foundation, Aroha Philanthropies, and New Sector Alliance. Thank you.
Looking for a way to support us in doing this work ? To help us push forward this initiative and JXTA work at-large, sign up for our e-newsletter and we’ll make sure to keep you up to speed on opportunities. As always, we appreciate your financial support as we work towards securing 100 supporters for 100 youth artists by the end of the year. Donate on our GiveMN page, here. #JXTAGive100