Uptown Summer Week Four: Action!

Week four of Uptown Summer was about narrowing our focus and making things happen!

Gaetano, Nicolena, and Taina at the songwriting workshop.

On Tuesday we hosted a community design think tank for the new NATURE Lab Environmental Education Center. Previously, the youth had discussed the challenges facing Troy and how a new community science center could address them. They invited experts and stakeholders from the community, and on Tuesday opened the Sanctuary doors to share their ideas and gain more community insight. The discussion was facilitated by architect Cameron Toler, who will return August 10th with his prototypes for the Environmental Education Center based on this input. 

The rest of the week was spent on radio production. For the last three weeks, the Uptown Summer youth have been getting primed to produce their own radio stories about environmental justice and resilience. They’ve received workshops from expert guests including artists, media professionals, data analysts, activists, environmental scientists, and community leaders. They’ve researched the topics they think need to be talked about and reached out to community members for interviews. Now, they’re hard at work creating these stories.

Donovan and Jarelle in the field.

This week we recorded in the garden and at the basketball court, freestyled in the radio booth, and got on stage with Taina Asili at our songwriting workshop. Youth employee Angelo circulated an online poll to collect data and wrangled two interviews with experts from the community for his piece on negligent landlords. Felicia, another youth employee, invited in Regina Keenan from the Department of Health to speak to us about Hudson River fish, and to gain input for her radio story on fishing the Hudson. Our youth employees are taking action to make their radio stories materialize!

On Friday, August 10th we’re opening our doors again to showcase the youth’s finished radio pieces. You’ll have a chance to ask the youth about their projects and see short films our media interns have been crafting throughout the program. We’ll also be unveiling Cameron Toler’s design prototypes for the Environmental Education Center. We hope to see you there!

Angelo interviews Hilary Lamishaw of TRIP.

Photos by Catie Rafferty.