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december 2011


Join Gsca

the membership campaign is here become a member today With the holidays right around the corner, we encourage you to consider a Membership to GSCA as gift for a loved one who supports the arts. Membership ranges from $25 to $500, and each level comes with a fun benefit package with incentives like free GSCA gear, or even free tickets to Grand Street Eats Whichever level you decide is right for you, please know that your contribution is greatly appreciated and goes a long way in sustaining our organization.


membership...........1 summer youth employment......2 youthfx...................3


GSCA is committed to providing high quality art programs that are free or low-cost in the South End of Albany. We believe that everyone should have access to the arts, not just those of a certain income level.

We would like to thank the following individuals for becoming the first Members of Grand Street Community Arts:

Since we do not want prices to be prohibitive we cannot generate a viable income from ticket sales or class fees alone.

Julie O’Connor Paul Rosenberg

Instead we rely on grants, and the generous support from individuals like you who believe in our mission and recognize that economically disadvantaged areas can benefit from art the most. You can become a member today by going online at membership. Tell a friend!

Richard Conti Harris Oberlander Leif Engstrom

Onnolee Smith Margaret & Steve King Dan Wilcox Annette Nanes Scott Meyers Mr. & Mrs. Ken Skinner, Laura Garrison Ed Miller John & Martha Rozett. Thank you all for your generous support! From the GSCA family to yours, we hope you have a happy and safe holiday season.

OUR MISSION to create unity and connection especially through the arts, in an inner-city neighborhood with racial and economic diversity. DONATE donating to grand street community arts is now easier than ever before with our secure, online donation site. paypal>> GET INVOLVED grand street community arts has a number of excellent volunteer opportunities and internships for people of all experiences. opportunities>> FOLLOW US twitter facebook email


Summer Youth Employment Teens working in the YO! garden.

SYE Teens learning about cooking and healthy eating as a part of the YO! program.

summer youth employment a better summer for ALL albany youth Grand Street Community Arts has been running summer programs for Albany young people since 2003, and for the past six years we have been participating in the city's Summer Youth Employment program, formally known as the Albany Plan. This program provides summer jobs for teen aged 14 to 18, and often serves as the first work experience for these young people. It is also an invaluable component of GSCA's Youth Organics, Youth FX and Kids Club art camp programs, allowing us to expose more than 40 low income young people every year to gardening, vacant lot reclamation, film making and the arts. We've learned the ins and outs of the program and how to make it work effectively for us. The Summer Youth Employment program historically serves more than 1,400 Albany youth every summer, with many job sites throughout the city and county. Budget cutbacks this year have focused more community attention on some of the problems inherent in such a large program, and GSCA, in partnership with AVillage, is taking the lead in organizing a community-wide push for improvements. Two meetings with the City Council's Parks and Recreation Committee have show considerable council interest in reforms, and city officials have promised to work with the community coalition that has formed. Just Ask the Teens Last summer an intern for Grand Street Community Arts interviewed all youth in our three summer programs about their concerns and aspirations. They identified fiscal responsibility, learning to work with others and cooperation as major issues. What might surprise many adults is that these teens were clearly thinking (and worried about) their future. They realize they will soon be on their own. It seems that we are missing a great opportunity if we don't find ways to support them as they explore their futures. (The report is available upon request by emailing


three proposed focus areas by gsca & avillage 1. Preparation of youth workers for realworld employment. Managing money, proper dress, how to act on the job, etc. There is no opportunity or funding to do this now. We believe that the business community could find volunteers to provide this training, if scheduling and a venue were provided. 2. More job sites that offer real work experiences. Office and corporate sites give youth a more rounded view of the world. Currently there is little time available for staff to reach out to the business community for sites, and youth are not educated on their options. Again, we need to bring the business community to the table. 3. More meaningful work experiences for everybody. This is education for work site supervisors as well as the youth. The message to all youth in the program must be that they are getting paid for meaningful work, not just to keep them off the streets.


it’s a wrap! youthfx has another stellar season Youth FX filmmakers Imani Peterkin and Mohamed Gardner, of Albany, N.Y., are PBS Project VoiceScape's youngest award winners, but their documentary, Seeds of Hope, belies their age. The film is about a mother in Albany's South End who loses her son to gun violence and builds a garden in his memory. Inspiration came for the filmmakers when they met the mother, Allison Banks, and found out more about her approach photo: nina blix to ending violence in the inner city. "Allison Banks told us her story and asked us if we would like to do a movie on her," says Imani. "So we took it as an opportunity to say something about an important issue." In addition to the national recognition through Project VoiceScape, Seeds Of Hope has also been in the spotlight regionally. The film won Best Documentary and Best Local Film at the Ballston Spa Film Festival, screened at the Woodstock Film Festival and aired on WMHT’s TVFilm. YouthFX recently won a $3670 grant from the NYSCA, as well as support from Troy Savings Bank, The Charles Touhey Foundation, Stewarts, and WMHT. One exciting new development within the YouthFX program is the opportunity for the more experienced teens to get paid for their hard work. YouthFX recently launched its own commercial production component, where local businesses can hire the YouthFX teens to make a commercial for them. YouthFX co-sponsored the 2nd Annual NY Shout Out! film festival for young adults, and a helped facilitate a new youth media program at the Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, NY. Well done, YouthFX!

youthfx alumni take it to the next level Annie Leue Annie has been involved in Youth FX since 2009. sophomore at Fredonia State University studying graphic design and digital media. Annie was the codirector of Ghost, our 2009 final project, and last summer rejoined Youth FX as one of our assistant program directors through through the Siena College AmeriCorps Vista Program.


Michael Mejia

Majestic Tillman

Darian Henry

Michael was a member the 2010 Youth FX crew. He codirected The Third Rail, which was selected to screen at the Ballston Spa Film Festival and WMHTʼs TVFilm. Michael also worked as a technical director at The Sanctuary For Independent Media in Troy, NY. Michael is currently a freshman at Pratt Institute studying filmmaking.

Majestic has been a member of Youth FX since the beginning. A talented actor, he has played the lead in the final film four years in a row. Majestic has also been a sound recordist and producer on several short documentary projects. Majestic plans on attending The New England Art Institute to study media arts and

Darian has been in Youth FX for four years. She has co-directed the Youth FX final short film project each of her four years. Darian is currently interning at The Sanctuary For independent Media and WMHT Studios in Troy, NY. Darian is also currently serving as an assistant program director at Youth FX.

DECEMBEREVENTS December Meetings GSCA Board Meeting Wednesday, December 14th 6:00PM-7:30PM South End Partners Meeting Thursday, December 15th & Thursday, December 29th Both at 8:00AM

Drawing!&!Illustration with!Malik!Huggins

Class Every Saturday 11AM - 2PM through 12/31 except for 12/11 $10 per person Bring pencils & paper

Winter Building Rental Notice: The main space in our building is not available for use from now until April 1st but our community room is available for year-round use. Any other inquires for future events, programs, classes, etc can be directed to our Events Coordinator, Harrison Watkins at or visit our website for further details at

Calling All Artists!

Grand Street Community Arts is looking for volunteers to teach art classes! Whether your expertise is in painting, drawing, storytelling, or dance we would love to hear from you. We are hoping to begin classes in mid-January at partner organizations while our main space is closed for the winter. Class times can be made to fit your schedule, either during the week in the evenings or on the weekends. For more information or to fill out an application please contact or please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 518-463-2222. We hope to hear from you soon!



gscaNEWS 12-2011  
gscaNEWS 12-2011  

Grand Street Community Arts December 2011 Newsletter