Our mission is to raise a justice league of young leaders who use their experience, influence and creativity to build an alternative future for themselves and their communities.
AS220 Youth is a nationally recognized, award-winning after-school educational program and creative incubator for young people. Serving young people ages 14-21 with a special focus on those in the care and custody of the state, the program strives to dismantle the pipeline to prison by empowering at-risk, beyond-risk and incarcerated youth through arts, culture and collective action.
AS220 Youth provides free arts programming in three primary locations: our Empire Street Studio (115 Empire Street, Providence); Nowell Leadership Academy, a charter school founded in order to primarily serve pregnant and parenting young people; and the Rhode Island Training School (RITS), the state’s juvenile detention facility. Once youth are released from the Training School, they can continue working with us at our Empire Street Studio until age 21, when they can become involved with other AS220 artistic programming. Today, our program serves 600 youth annually.
AS220 Youth harnesses comprehensive arts education and technical training, career building, hip hop, and social justice education to affect change for youth and their communities.
Hateration Gets No Toleration
This is the AS220 Youth commitment to respecting and embracing all people.
“AS220 Youth is a safe place where no person or group should be discriminated against for any reason no matter what they bring with them through our doors – this includes varying races, religions, gender identities and perspectives. All will be treated in a positive manner. Every member of this community is committed to being respectful of our diversity in our words and actions while engaging in open dialogue about these issues. We recognize that we all harbor prejudices, but we are dedicated to challenging ourselves against them. We will not stand for bigotry or oppression. We stand for embracing, celebrating, and educating.”
Inspired by hip hop culture, our program is youth-led, multidisciplinary and always evolving. We understand that meeting the needs of young people means ‘meeting them where they are’, engaging them in projects that are relevant to their lives and providing them with caring mentors who — over time — can expose them to new ideas, new ways of thinking and real world artistic and career opportunities.
OUR STAFF & TEACHING ARTISTS
Anjel Newmann* & Shauna Duffy – AS220 Co-Executive Directors
Janay Pina – AS220 Youth Director
Olivia Watson – AS220 Youth Associate Director
Jason Colon – RI Training School Site Manager
Miche’le “Meesh” Fontes – Nowell Academy Site Manager
AM. Andrade – Visual + Media Arts Manager
Saulo Castillo* – Performing Arts Manager
Teaching Artists: Al Sok, Allam Mella*, Jay Lew*, Keely “Kego” Roberts*, Kelwin “KelKeyz” Pacheco, Steven Choummalaithong, Trent Lee
*- Youth program alumni
To learn more or to take a tour of AS220 Youth, get in touch with Olivia at firstname.lastname@example.org
Featured photo by James Lastowski