The Foundation

A Little Creative Class a not for profit organization granted 501(c)(3) IRS status and can accept tax deductible donations.

Located in Maspeth, Queens, A Little Creative Class provides creative workshops held throughout Up-State New York by our founder, Brenda Ann Kennelly. Conducted out of the ‘art truck’ or in found locations, the workshops are an opportunity for engagement and reflection not usually available to those who participate. These workshops utilize a unique blend of storytelling and creative development and encourage the participating young people to dive deeply into their personal experience and create a scrapbook that is part journal, part testimonial, and all innovative original art.

For some youth this technique resonates deeply and enables them to access and communicate in emotional and creative ways previously unavailable. For those who want to further this process, and demonstrate willingness and aptitude for the creative practice we provide immersive residencies at our location in Maspeth, New York. The residency includes daily scrapbooking workshops, cultural experiences at museums, historic landmarks, and life time firsts, such as an ocean swim. The residencies allow these young people the cultural exposure that has proven to be a vital gateway when considering the possibility of life in a creative field. Mentor partners from across the vast landscape of innovation in the five boroughs of New York City form a ground up, macro family style model, that best addresses the challenges unique to marginalized youth as they become orientated to a wider array of cultural and social possibilities. We support holistic immersion in the culture of creative practice with the goal of growing a network to forge a broader intersection between creativity, economic growth, and social inclusion that will extend back to the young people’s home communities.

Residencies will be awarded through a series of nomination processes from schools, community and church organizations, the many branches of the juvenile detention system, and additional relationship building workshops to be held throughout Up-State New York.

A Little Creative Class, Inc. has been formed in response to the ongoing economic and cultural shift that has had a particularly negative impact in post- industrial communities throughout the United States. We have taken further inspiration from urban theorists, economists and human rights organizations who recognize that a key to understanding this cultural reformation is exploring the ways that a thriving creative economy has replaced our once powerful manufacturing economy as a vehicle for economic and social rebirth. Research confirms that as the income gap continues to widen nationally, the number of jobs in the creative economy continues to grow, however the social isolation inherent to some of the communities who would benefit most is itself a barrier to entry. According to a 2015 study by The Regional Alliance for a Creative Economy in Upstate New York, The Capital Region has the second highest concentration of creative jobs among metropolitan regions of similar size, however the report also states, one a of biggest challenges remains a failure to “reach across socioeconomic boundaries”…” We are building A Little Creative Class, Inc. in our home State of New York, with the hope that it will become to be a model to inspire new approaches to addressing a wider array of social and cultural barriers that perpetuate class inequity in the United States.