AS220 Youth is a nationally recognized, award-winning after-school educational program and creative incubator for young people, ages 14-21, many of whom are at- and beyond-risk. The program harnesses comprehensive arts education and technical training, career building, hip hop, and social justice education to affect change for youth and their communities. Today, the program serves 600 youth annually, the majority of whom are young people of color. AS220 Youth provides support year-round through after-school classes and mentoring in performance, visual arts, music, apparel design, and media. In fiscal year 2017, we offered 865 art classes at four sites: our Empire Street Studio; the Rhode Island Training School: the state's juvenile detention facility; the Urban Collaborative Accelerated Program: an alternative middle school for those at high risk of drop out; and Skip Nowell Academy: a charter high school serving pregnant and parenting teens. Since 2015, AS220 Youth's guiding pedagogy has evolved through the collaborative visioning and creation of Futureworlds, a youth-led arts showcase and research project striving toward a world free from today's systems of oppression. Anjel Newmann, AS220 Youth Director, says: “Futureworlds gives young people the space and resources to create highly visible work that transforms the way we think about art, community and justice.”

“AS220 Youth is empowerment! They give you the confidence to be the artist you want to be. AS220 Youth is unity and family.”

Manami Braxton, Live Arts Apprentice & Zukrewe member

“I have been fortunate enough to see the importance and the power of art. My parents died when I was young. My younger sister passed away tragically. I spent a lot of my youth in the system, so I wasn't a very trusting person. I wasn't used to people caring, period. Learning the meaning of community was important. Once I learned that, I wanted not only to be a part of it, I wanted to protect it, nurture it and give others the opportunities I never had. Working with AS220 Youth has been the biggest blessing. I'm on the front lines making a difference. I'm an artist, this is true, but teaching has helped me become a better man, father, and friend.”

Josh Padilla, aka Plan B, musician and AS220 Youth Music Instructor