Author Archives: Stacey Garcia

Meeting 3: Youth Empowerment

c3meeting3e C3: Meeting 3 Youth Empowerment

Tuesday January 13, 2015 6-8PM

We have many C3 members working on incredible youth empowerment projects throughout the county. We could only choose five C3 members present on their projects, all whom are working on various aspects and forms of Youth Empowerment, with a range of age groups and are at different stages in their development. These members were “Sparks” to activate discussion, ideas, and connections with other C3 members to strengthen their Youth Empowerment work throughout the county.

Information about the sparks and their dreams can be found here.

Our youth interns designed and led the icebreaker activity, a playful game that reflected on members’ personal experiences as youth. Sparks then led short 5 minute presentations on their project and their dream for its future. Then, all members chose which project they would like to strengthen based on the interests and assets each individual could bring to the discussion.

Groups formed around each topic for a more in-depth workshop. Members first shared why they chose to participate in the group and their assets- the skills, knowledge and interests they could bring to the dream. Groups then c3meeting3fbrainstormed ideas to strengthen the dream.  They then imagined what this dream looks like in the future, how it is empowering youth, what youth are saying and feeling as a result of these projects. Each group then built an artifact of the future for our Pop Up Museum that was representative of that dream out of cardboard, paper, pipe cleaners, tape and markers in a mere fifteen minutes. Objects and labels were presented to the whole group and can be viewed here.

At the end of the meeting each individual made a commitment to strengthening Youth Empowerment in Santa Cruz County. Commitments included continuing group discussions, connecting contacts, volunteering and learning more.

We’re in a community full of c3meeting3cdynamic and innovative Youth Organizations. This meeting connected these leaders with each other and others, beginning conversations and connections that we hope will continue to grow and strengthen.

Meeting 3 Info: Youth Empowerment

Our next meeting topic is Youth Empowerment on Tuesday January 13th 6-8PM.

Here are the projects we’ll be exploring at this meeting. Please click the links if you’d like to learn more about these projects prior to the meeting.

Santa Cruz County Children’s Network with Robyn McKeen
Through my work as a Community Organizer at United Way, I provide staff coordination for the Santa Cruz County Children’s Network, a County Board of Supervisor’s mandated body consisting of over 40 government agency, school district, and non-profit executives. The Network meets regularly to share information and coordinate countywide services for children, youth and families. This year the group assisted the Community Assessment Project in selecting a Community Goal to achieve by 2020 for youth: “Schools and communities will be safe, supportive and engaging places for children, youth and families”.  My dream is to increase the impact this group of influential leaders makes in our community towards this goal. How can we harness the expertise and influence of this group to empower our county’s youth and families? Learn more about this project here.

Unicorn Maps for Rejects, Delinquents & Other Healers with Jessica Vargas
Unicorn Maps for Rejects, Delinquents, & Other Healers is a recovery enrichment center that serves transitional age youth and young adults in recovery from substance abuse. We facilitate meaningful community discussions that engage young people in their own power, examine and enrich recovery-based principles, and inspire spiritual investigation. Our dream is to be a financially sustained resource available to all young people in recovery as well as those who work in the field of addiction counseling, and to have a strong online presence and following. We hope to expand our services to include daylong workshops and weekend retreats. We need help structuring our business model and building a media platform, and wish to find a permanent location that will act as our headquarters.   Learn more about this project here or follow our Instagram @unicorn_maps.

Subjects to Change (S2C) with Emily Hope Dobkin
Subjects to Change (S2C) is a program geared for teenagers who want to make a difference in Santa Cruz county by raising awareness of community issues through collaborative arts and cultural experiences. S2C consists of approximately 15 students from across the county who meet at the MAH every Thursday afternoon to talk community, create stuff, & change—both themselves, as a group, and the community. Coined as a group of chronic doodlers who dig music, embrace creativity of all kinds, and are determined to not only make Santa Cruz better, but want to get other teens involved—-my dream for this program is to engage as many teens from across the county to identify and describe the social issues they face through artistic collaborations and projects. Learn more about this project here.

KYTH-lpfm Radio with Ann Simonton

KYTH LP and youthradiosc.org is a 501 c (3) radio station, where youth, ages 12-25, will have an opportunity to express their creativity through art, poetry, music and news. Our job as adult mentors will be to offer ideas about groups whose stories aren’t heard and ideas for youth service. Media Watch will provide leadership, programming, radio production and fundraising training for our core organizing group. We need a home for antenna in Scotts Valley and a studio for our station near bus lines in Santa Cruz. KYTH-lpfm will provide youth a safe place to voice their concerns about vital issues that effect our present and their future. This station will offer commercial-free programming with the hope of community underwriting. Our dream is to be a voice that will network with all that is available for youth and children in our community. Radio can be that conduit. We also hope to host Pacifica programs, which no other station broadcasts locally, except for KZSC news, which runs one hour daily. Radio programming, live music, conducting interviews, organizing, fundraising will offer youth many unique skills that will benefit them throughout their lives. Learn more about this project here.

Beach Flats Community Center with Edgar Landeros

Info coming soon!

Meeting 2: Creative Spaces

photo 1C3: Meeting 2 Creative Spaces

Tuesday November 11th 2014, 6-8PM

We had five C3 members present on their Creative Space projects already happening throughout Santa Cruz County. These members were “Sparks” to activate discussion, ideas, and connections to strengthen their work on the issue of activating Creative Spaces in our county.

Here are the sparks and their dreams:

Collaborative Dance Performance- Cid Pearlman  Economies of Effort: 1 is an evening-length dance exploring the virtues of self-reliance and the creative impulse. Cid’s dream is to engage local audiences and workshop participants, spread the word, and find new partners for her work. Learn more about the project here, and check out Cid’s most recent collaborative dance project here.

Watsonville Film Festival- Consuelo Alba-Speyer  We share films that inspire, entertain, educate and focus on issues relevant to the local community, as well as empower local youth to use film as a way to transform our world. My dream is to create a multicultural film festival that puts Watsonville on the map regionally, bridges the divide between South & North County and provides economic development opportunities for my community. We need help spreading the word, engaging local audiences, developing a financially sustainable program and collaborating on special projects.  Learn more at our website here and the Arts Council’s Arts and Economic Prosperity Study here.

Creative Town Square- Marcus Frost The MAH is working to transform Abbott Square, the plaza outside the museum, into a vibrant community plaza. Our dream is to create a positive social dynamic in the plaza in partnership with diverse performers and artists. Learn more about the project here, and check out a project in Minnesota that inspires us here.

A Revitalized River- Laurie Egan The San Lorenzo River flows through the heart of Santa Cruz. Today, it has a negative reputation spanning from pollution control issues to disdain and neglect. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Laurie works to bring the Santa Cruz community to reconnect to this key river through her work at the Coastal Watershed Council and San Lorenzo River Alliance. Learn more about this exciting river revitalization project here.

Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium Renovation Leadership Team- Jim Brown The Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium has been a place where our community has gathered to play, commemorate, and be entertained since it was built as a WPA project in 1939. The Civic Leadership Team seeks to support the design, planning, and financing of a renovation of the Civic as a performing arts and cultural center and to catalyze community enthusiasm for the project.

After each presentation, members chose which project they would like to strengthen based on the interests and assets each individual could bring to the discussion.

Groups formed around each topic for a more in-depth workshop. Members first shared their assets- the skills, knowledge and interests they could bring to the dream. Groups then brainstormed ideas based on their assets that could strengthen the dream.  They then imagined, fifty years from now, what does that dream look like, who is part of it, how has it changed? Each group then built an artifact of the future for our Pop Up Museum that was representative of that dream out of cardboard, paper, tape and markers in a mere fifteen minutes. Objects and labels were presented to the whole group and can be viewed here.

At the end of the meeting each individual made a commitment to strengthening creative spaces in Santa Cruz County. Commitments included continuing group discussions, connecting contacts, volunteering and learning more.

We left inspired, motivated, more connected. We’re eager to see what evolves from these discussions.