Scrappin’ in New York State Workshops

Scrappin’ in New York State is a free arts program, conducted in collaboration with community organizations, and in a variety of neighborhoods via our mobile scrapbook gallery. These workshops are the cornerstone of A Little Creative Class’ Vision:

To provide young people, regardless of social or economic disadvantage, opportunities to explore their creative voices through the arts, media, photography, and the power of speaking their own truths; thereby empowering them to find inclusion socially, educationally and economically; and enable them to grow to enrich our communities, realize their full potentials, and participate in our emerging idea based economy.

In America, New York State has the greatest inequality between rich and poor. Jobs that once provided access to a middle-class income are gone, and the good jobs in our economy are now based on ideas and entrepreneurship.

The confidence and ability to speak about yourself, and to share your strengths and passions, are keys to gaining access to employment, education, and relationships that can expand your life opportunities. Often, young people from poor or low-income neighborhoods are not encouraged, or ashamed, to talk about the struggles they may face. Youth who participate in our workshops are partnered with Scrappin’ New York mentors——all young people who have struggled with disadvantage in their pasts, and who have become empowered by gaining perspective on their strengths——by making and sharing their own life stories.

Youth who are accepted into A Little Creative Class, Inc. will be guided through the process of collecting documents, photographs, and family history, in addition to writing a life story. Volunteer editors will work with the young people to produce their own short bio films. The process will culminate in a portrait day, where youth and their families will gather to have professional portraits taken. Then, there will be a scrapbook summit where the portraits will be hung, and youth will gather to screen their stories in a short film festival. At the festival, the youth will talk about the experience of turning their lives into works of art.

In addition to forming a community of their peers, Scrappin’ New York workshops allow participants and their families the opportunity to form relationships with A Little Creative Class’ teachers and mentors. The Scrappin’ workshops are essential for youth who wish to continue on for a two-week cultural residency, where youth from upstate and downstate explore each other’s communities through an exchange.

The short films and digital versions of the scrapbooks will become part of a permanent archive, and will tour in our mobile gallery. The collection will be a resource to foster dialogue enlightened by the expertise of those who have lived experience with social and economic disadvantage.

Below are some past workshops we’ve done. For information on partnering for workshops, please email brendakenneally@gmail.com.

Please see our events page for dates of upcoming workshops.


2017 Scrappin’ New York Workshop at Residency House in Maspeth, Queens:

To hear more about our inaugural residency workshop, please follow this link to see our video blog post:

http://www.alittlecreativeclass.org/welcome-contingent-i-to-first-ever-summer-residency-at-maspeth-house/


2016 Scrappin’ New York Workshop at Schenectady Boys and Girls Club

In November 2016, A Little Creative Class and artist Brenda Ann Kenneally collaborated with the Boys & Girls Club of Schenectady, New York to facilitate a group of people who have lost loved ones to gun violence. The young people gathered to honor their fallen friends and family members by making scrapbooks and spoken word pieces. After the workshop, the scrapbooks were added to a traveling exhibition of multimedia histories told by youth from disadvantaged communities throughout New York State.


2015 YMCA SCRAPBOOK WORKSHOP IN BELMONT, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

In 2015, Brenda Ann Kenneally was invited by World Press Photo International and The YMCA International, to create and facilitate a scrapbook workshop during an afterschool program for marginalized youth served by The YMCA in Western Australia. The children and their parents concluded the workshop with a public art show hosted at The Belmont Library, followed by and awards ceremony, hosted by The Mayor of The City. The children and their parents wept during the presentation of the digital stories the participants created around the theme of family.

See YMCA scrapbooks here: https://vimeo.com/132009366


2010 SCRAPPIN’ UPSTATE – ONGOING

A participatory multi media platform to enable at-risk youth throughout New York State to build relationships with each other while reclaiming their personal histories.

http://www.mediasanctuary.org/node/2341


EMPOWERMENT THROUGH CREATIVE SCRAPPIN’

In 2009 Kenneally began an ongoing relationship with The Sanctuary For Independent Media, A Non-Profit Community Media Arts Organization, in Troy, New York. Kenneally and The Sanctuary have engaged youth in their struggling North Troy Neighborhood in regular scrapbook workshops and public art actions.