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February 2017 6 August 2017 Chicago Street Journal Continued from Page 1 We intend to continue to grow our efforts and work in the community, but we need your help funding our new home. It is a 12,500 sq. ft. facility featuring a 500 seat auditorium and many classrooms to teach our youth. We are extremely EXCITED about this new venture, but we desperately need your help to reach our goals. This center will aim to reduce gun violence by giving youth a safe haven.We're raising $105,000 to finish paying for our building, and another $1,000,000 for our rehab, legal, and furnishing cost. With violence in our communities at an all time high, more investment into the youth is needed to change the conditions and reduce criminal acts. It is a known fact that lack of activities for youth and interest in their education directly leads to increased violence. Youth who are given alternative opportunities and activities are less likely to turn to crime as a means for survival. Majostee Allstars began in 2011 as Sky-Rocketing Teens Corp dedicated to raising the higher consciousness of youth through the venue of arts and entertainment. In the summer of 2015, Sky-Rocketing partnered with the City of Chicago to present "Put The Guns Down" a massive effort to reduce gun violence in the city of Chicago, led by several representatives from our organization. We have also Partnered with Residents for a Greater Englewood to present peace days in the community to spread the message of unity and self love to our neighborhoods. community and felt that reminding our children that we are all kings and queens would bring positive change to our neighborhoods. Under the new moniker Majostee Allstars hosted our first event "A Little Extra Joy" in December of 2016. We were able to provide children from 20 different families with warm coats and a holiday dinner. In February of 2017 we will be launching our first scholarship to give children in our neighborhoods an opportunity to attend college. Here is our plan: Targeting ages 12-24, Majostee Allstars uses the principles of economic development, entrepreneurship, and education as a means to facilitate growth and stimulus in urban communities. While most youth programs stress the importance of higher education, Majostee Allstars aims to explore all options with an emphasis in entrepreneurship and financial literacy. Majostee Allstars partner company Executive Behavior will supply youth with journals and a life coach who will meet with them to talk about trauma and problems in their everyday lives. This partnership will be focused towards goal building and task setting to allow participants to become successful in any venture. OBJECTIVES 1. Provide a safe space for out of school learning that will include tutoring, life coaching, entrepreneurship, and job skills. 2. Empower youth to become role models by giving them tools to achieve their goals and influence others to do the same. 3. By training youth to actively and accurately seek and interview for jobs. 4. To modify the behavior & mindset of youth with in-house counselor and mentors. 5. To give a window of opportunities to teens in impoverished areas to succeed. 6. Stimulate the community by creating more small businesses by ensuring owners have correct knowledge to be sustainable. 7. Enhance the family structure by providing parents with assistance needed to provide for their household in the form of training, job opportunities, and education workshops. OUR WORKSHOPS: Entrepreneurship – Allstars will learn tools such as how to: · Create a business plan · Design a website · Market their brand After School Program Majostee Allstars after school program will be exciting and beneficial for every youth participant. Youth will have access to computers and Internet for homework and business needs. They will be required to participate in both two-hour workshops throughout the week where they will be taught by a guest celebrity or professional. They will also have access to job leads and applications to fill out on site at one of the computer stations. All students will have a mentor and a counselor that they meet with once a week to talk about things going on in their lives and their aspirations and goals. Allstars will start each day with tutoring and homework assistance. This facility will also host an open mic every Saturday, rent out the faculty for smaller functions on Sundays, and host workshops for parents during school hours. We will be working with neighborhood schools to serve them since we are close. In the fall of 2016, Sky-Rocketing Teens Corp morphed into "Majostee Allstars," an organization dedicated to empowering youth, and inspiring royalty. We saw a need for higher thinking and positive images in the Help us reach our goals, anything helps. $5 or more. Thank you for being a part of this wonderful journey with us. MajosteeAllstars.com Call 773-998-1925 to be in the NEXT issue.
Interview with Ms. Dianna Long, Executive Director of Urban Art Retreat 1. We’ve all heard the term “starving artist” but can you tell our readers about the 21 st Century working artist? I really don't like the term “starving artist”. Forever, people have thought of artists as either starving or selling their art for millions. This stereotype is one of the things that prevents people from pursuing art for a living. It is the reason many parents don't Dianne and Wayne want their children to become artists. This “fantasy idea” of artists is not what it is really like. Most artists pursue their art career while they hold down another job. Smart artists figure out what it takes to make a living as an artist & pursue that goal. They get the necessary degree/s & experience, & go forward as in any career choice. 2. Tell us a little bit about your background/training and how you prepared to run an organization like the Urban Art Retreat. I have always made art, even as a toddler. Art-making was something I found solace in, my confidence, & safety. I attended art school at SUNY at Buffalo. While in college, I became interested in people, diversity, & social justice issues. I worked my early adult years in the helping profession: on the front lines & in administration at- shelter for battered women, emancipating girls from abuse, working with people with disabilities, YWCA, & much more. When I became tired of bureaucracy- I joined with 2 other artists/ activists & formed the Urban Art Retreat as a place for under-represented people to find support. Now this was a place where I could bring together my art, & my interest in helping people, to make a difference! 3. Describe a typical week at the center. What’s going on over there? During one week at Urban Art Retreat, we check in visitors from Africa who have been in town for a conference & now want to see Chicago. They rent a room in our women's residence on the second floor. Some volunteers show up to do their weekly weeding session in the Peace Park we have created across the street. A mother arrives wanting to register her children for our youth program. A volunteer shows up with some donations for our organization. We send some volunteers to visit door to door in the area to tell folks about our programs. On Tuesday & Wednesday we have young children running about while attending outside workshops where they remove weeds, water flowers, make art, & learn about immigration issues. We prepare the gallery room for a social justice issues discussion. On Thursday morning we provide art therapy at a neighborhood residential program for people with February Chicago Street Journal August 2017 mental health & physical disabilities, plus substance abuse issues. We teach an adult art program at CUARC on Friday afternoon. On Saturday we are open for visitors in the gallery We also have a youth program- they go on a Peace Walk in the neighborhood after picking up litter. 4. Why the North Lawndale community? What attracted you to those demographics? We were in Uptown before locating to North Lawndale. We got tired of slumlords not fixing the spaces we rented. We considered trying to purchase a building. We looked at several places & decided to move where we felt most needed- North Lawndale doesn't have as much support for people as they could. 5. What would you say to a young person who may want to dabble in the arts? I recently offered a workshop for young people considering a career in the arts. I tell people to check things out, don't limit yourself, & there is more to being an artist than showing in a gallery. I also tell people that art-making is healthy for everyone. If you want to use art as a hobby- go for it. It can relax you & help you learn more about yourself. 6. What’s coming up in the near future for your organization? Our organization, totally run by volunteers, is now looking into purchasing the building next door to us, so that we can expand the space we offer as housing for women in transition. It will also allow us more gallery space. Another future plan is to offer more programs for adults who would like to relax making art, and/or learn and heal via art-making. Voodoo Woman by Dianne Organization: Urban Art Retreat 7 Location: 1957 S. Spaulding Ave. at corner of 21st, just 2 blocks west of the Kedzie stop on the Pink line. Chicago, IL. 60623 Phone: (773) 542-9126 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.urbanartretreat.com