Young people take the lead in planning annual arts festival
By Jennifer L. Warren
POUGHKEEPSIE – Both Destiny Kearney and Harrison Brishon-McKinnon can imagine what it looks, feels and looks like, and they couldn’t have been more invigorated to share as much of this experience as possible with guests Wednesday night inside the Trolley Barn Gallery.
The two are part of a youth committee that is energetically and creatively involved in the development of the first annual Youth Arts Festival 2022 as well as The Art Effect’s new youth arts empowerment initiative. The objective of both is to allow young people involved in the Festival to collaborate directly with municipal officials, companies and other entities, as well as to share this network and its ideas with the public. It was all in play Wednesday night from 5:30-7 p.m., when guests of all ages joined in a lively discussion, led by Destiny Kearney and Harrison Brishon-McKinnon, both of the Youth Planning Committee.
“I’d like to see more color and people able to walk through and really see that it’s an art place,” said Kearney, head of the America Fellow for the Art Effect. “I would also like to see paint everywhere.”
And when it comes to the theme, “Wonderland” for next year’s Festival, Kearney also has a clear vision.
“I see it as one that’s about activating all ages as well as highlighting what’s already here in Poughkeepsie,” Kearney pointed out. “Let’s activate this location (The Trolley Barn) and let people know it’s here.”
Brishon, McKinnon, who stood alongside Kearney during the segment of the program which provided a recap of the latest Youth Committee event, was also eager to recount the details of the Festival reality he would like to see come to life. as well as just the overall priority art should have in the town of Poughkeepsie.
“I want to see more murals here,” McKinnon said. “The ‘Wonderland’ theme is fun; with everything going on in the world, we need a place to go, marvel and explore.
It is precisely this “mission” that The Art Effect Youth Arts Empowerment Zone Initiative intended to enable young member artists to proactively immerse themselves in the dynamic design of the Festival. . Whether it’s engaging in hands-on activities with the public on Wednesday night, collaborating creatively, or simply providing informative updates to spark conversation, the overarching goal of this premier arts festival for young people, scheduled for September 2022, is to place young people themselves at the epicenter of all its plays.
“This initiative really shows how local youth are embodying resilience, empathy and creativity to empower the community and transform the neighborhood around the Trolley Barn, the future home of the Art Effect,” said Joanna Feng, Director of the Trolley Barn Gallery. “The benefits of the PKX Festival are considerable; young leaders collaborate with partners in the City of Poughkeepsie, MASS Design, Hudson River Housing and many more, as they learn to bring their vision of a vibrant, youth-inspired city to life. She added, “Through their collaborations with the Town of Poughkeepsie and partners across the city, young people are growing as creative civic leaders who inspire and engage entire communities in ways Poughkeepsie has never known. previously.”