Youth Spirit Artworks Holds Poetry Slam and Art Sale

Jasmain Johnson at Poetry Slam.

Marsean Dunham

Young artists who are part of Youth Spirit Artworks, an interfaith jobs training program empowering homeless and other under-served young people through art, will hold its monthly Poetry Slam and Art Sale, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 26 at 1769 Alcatraz Ave. between Adeline and Ellis streets in Berkeley. Youth Spirit’s young artists, ages 16 to 25, invite all lovers of spoken word to join them for an afternoon of sharing. Snacks and beverages will be provided. All are invited to read and improvise poetry and spoken word. Youth Spirit artists have been deeply engaged in creating art to sell for the last five years. Their art studio and retail store, based in South Berkeley, is a home for art-making ranging from painting art chairs on commission to tote bags and tiny 5-inch by 5-inch paintings. Youth Spirit artists paint prayer flags, talking sticks in the Native American tradition and other work. Artists are now integrating spoken word generated at the Poetry Slam into their canvasses, making the work even stronger. Youth gain retail experience selling their art publicly both through their store and via Youth Spirit’s new “Art Cart,” an adult tricycle they ride to sales venues. They are currently selling art three days a week at the Berkeley Bowl. Youth Spirit is in its fifth year and was honored this past year by the City of Berkeley for its outstanding programming serving the community. Its 10-member Board of Directors seeks new members who are committed to youth empowerment and transformation through art, and who want to help build a model Bay Area jobs training venture. The organization’s motto is Art Saves Lives. For information contact Sally Hindman at Shindman@youthspiritartworks.org or call (510) 282-0396.
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