Arts Council of New Orleans receives $10,000 Entergy Open Grant for Young Artist Movement (YAM) Public Art Training Program

Young Artist Movement (YAM) is the Arts Council’s arts education and workforce development program for youth ages 14-22. It is is New Orleans’ first citywide youth public art program, founded in 2016 by a collective of youth advocates, artists, and educators to provide transformative job and educational opportunities for local creative youth. One focus of our program is serving youth who have been impacted by the juvenile legal system. YAM uses artistic expression to promote healing and provide youth with mentoring, skill development, community support, and art therapy to help get them back on a positive path.

YAM beautifies neighborhoods and connects youth to their communities through the research, design, and installation of public art. Each public art project develops the creative and professional capacities of youth, beautifies neighborhoods, and builds community pride and cohesion. Project activities include: extensive community research and design, community events including paint days and unveilings, the installation of vibrant public art, and collaboration among community organizations.

With this grant, the Arts Council expands creative students’ future job and educational prospects through innovative programming, while drawing on the healing and restorative qualities of artistic expression. Projects are guided by professional artist mentors and include murals, sculptures, street furniture, digital projections and more. A typical project spans 6-12 weeks and instills multiple skills, including art/design, socio-emotional skills, digital literacy, and leadership.

All youth receive a stipend (typically $500-$1,200 depending on the project), enabling youth to participate who might not otherwise be able to because of family or work obligations. Many YAM participants remain involved for multiple years, continuing to hone their skills and build relationships with peers and mentors.