SPOKES Youth Leadership Program

Hey all! SPOKES Youth Leadership Program is back again and looking for new applicants for 2017. Take a look at the description and application below!

Youth Speaks Description and Application.pdf

Calling all Youth POETS & ARTISTS! We’re looking for fierce young artists (aged 13-19) who want to create change through community organizing, performance events and artistry! This is a 7-month PAID commitment to being a leader and organizer for the Arts Corps Teen Leadership Program. Internship is from October 25th – May 2nd. Leaders will meet every Tuesday from 4-6pm at Youngstown in West Seattle…Get PAID to organize and create art!


More info & paper application here:


Curtain Call

Over the last four weeks, 16 students dedicated their summer to revamping the Multi-Purpose Studio inside and out. At our celebration on Friday, after brief opening remarks from SAM’s Sarah Bloom and an introduction to Design Your Neighborhood from this summer’s teaching artists, Satpreet Kahlon & Erik Turnberg, the teens toured their friends and families through the space and then we wrapped up with presentations of the student’s takeaways.

And  now that we’ve all had a chance to catch our breath again, it is my pleasure to introduce to you the new and improved MPS. 

Below are the before and after pictures. Please put up your tables, keep all hands inside and hold all “Wow’s” until the end.


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WOW. right? The MPS is unrecognizable. They’ve turned a space that looked more like a gym room 4 weeks ago into one that really not only looks, but feels like a black box theater. The teens are all so proud of the work they did, and they put in a lot of hours of hard labor with no complaints. They have been dedicated and invested into this project. They strove to beautify a space in their school and there was nothing that could stop them. For that, we are excited to announce that the rest of our money will go to creating a plaque with all of the participants names and the work that they did at AAA that will hang in the entryway. Below is the template of what will hang outside the MPS.


A special thanks to our friends during this time: On the Boards, the Vera Project, Jehan Osanyin, Chris Landigin, SAM staff & interns, and of course the wonderful teens of AAA. Congrats, again!

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Please Join Us This Friday!

Only a few more days left??? It seems like only a few weeks ago we were only just getting to know each other. Oh, wait. It was really a few weeks ago. Well, come on down this Friday anyway to say our goodbyes to the old MPS and HELLLOOOO DARLIN’ to the new & improved MPS!

Details below!



MPS aka Most Popular Space

As we enter our final week, I must say it’s been an exciting time changing the MPS. So, here’s what we’ve done so far!

As soon as you walk into the entryway into the MPS, Lee & Sebastian went with a dark blue, black, and white color palette. The best part? They got to tape up tarps around the door to the MPS & surrounding walls and splattered black on the white door and dark blue on the black walls, respectively. They got delightfully messy and are extremely proud of their work. You’ll have to ask them what secret messages they left behind on the door.

As we move into the MPS, one will notice the benches that have been cleaned and painted from their original wood finishing to a dark grey by the whole team.

Dynamic duo siblings, Heidi & Niquel, built entirely new storaging space out of the piles of wood that used to be in the big storage closet. Now, the rest of that leftover wood can be easily stored away neatly & the closet’s newest shelf can house props, paint, and any other tool that finds it way into this closet. There’s a home for everything now.

Behind the scenes (aka the green room), Ceci, Oscar, Jeremias, and Isaias repainted the dressing area with a menthol green with dark green waves rolling along the walls. The upstairs green room has also been painted with the same menthol green

On Friday, Jeremias, Isaias, Esme, Niquel, Rohim, and Oscar got together to clear everything off the floor of the MPS and completely repainted it. It looks amazing! And they did it all in just over an hour. As it dried over the weekend, we’ll peak at it again on Monday and do some last minute touch-ups with some help from SAM staffers.

The light is at the end of the tunnel. That tunnel, being the abyss that was once the MPS. Onward!




Thinking About the MPS

As mentioned earlier, Design Your Neighborhood is officially back and this summer we’re partnering up with our friends at the Arts & Academics Academy to tackle the Multi-Purpose Studio, affectionately known as the MPS.

The MPS was originally built as a black box theater to accommodate the school’s theatrical productions. It is equipped with a green room, rooms worth of clothes & props, a mostly working sound and lighting system, durable catwalks, bleacher seating, a retractable projector screen, and more! With all of this, it might surprise you to learn that the MPS has actually been used for assemblies & a play hasn’t been performed in this space in 3 YEARS.

So, DYN & AAA are here to change that because come this fall, theater productions will resume at the school & and the youth are tasked with rediscovering all the potential the MPS has to offer and more.

The first week the teens explored all the nooks & crannies of the MPS. After breaking up into multiple brainstorming groups over the course of the first week, they narrowed down feasible projects for the MPS that can be accomplished in the couple weeks we have left (yikes!– but good yikes). The teens have spoken and have royally declared that the floor & walls have to be refurbished, storage areas dejunked, entrance & hallways dazzle-lized, and wish to turn the upstairs closet into a second green room.

So, far we have taken our measurements, calculated the appropriate amount of paint required, have started to decide color palettes, cleared out multiple rooms & begun the dejunk process. Chris, the wonderful carpenter from South Park’s Design Your Neighborhood has graciously returned with her power tools & mind for design. The amazing staff at On the Boards, a black box theater in Queen Anne, even opened up their doors to us to answer all of our questions about what it takes to run a successful theater space, understanding budgets, logistics, and maintenance, etc.

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The following week we visited The Vera Project at the Seattle Center to get even more ideas for the possibilities of MPS and how best to execute our final plans.


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Mark Your Calendars!

Hope you haven’t forgotten about us because in about two weeks, Design Your Neighborhood will return full swing with a new class of young designers on July 18th. This time, we’ll be working with the Arts and Academics Academy for four short but jam-packed weeks! Stay tuned for more.


Arts Liberation and Leadership Institute – Summer 2016

Hey all you funky teens out there!

SAM just got word of an exciting opportunity from the Youth Speaks team. Check out the attachment at the end for more information on their summer program which rumor has it that there’s some nice pocket change waiting for participants upon completion.

Quick Glance Important Info You Wanna Know:

Who: Fierce young artists (aged 14-19) who want to create change through community organizing,performance events and artistry!

What: This is a 5-Day Summer Leadership Institute to being a leader and organizer for the Arts Corps Teen Leadership Program

When: August 22-26th 10am – 5pm



NEW 2016 ALLI Summer Application