Youth Profile: Ola

We asked Ola, one of the youth employees who is currently enrolled in our work programming, for her thoughts about public art and community. Here’s what she had to say:

“I go Rainier Beach high school and I grew up the Central District. You know, that’s my hood. I grew up there, it’s kind of cool. My hobbies are sports and playing piano. Sometimes I might paint or something, but it’s pretty rare.

I found out about this job through my school. The principal came up to me and was like, “We’ve got this dope offer for you through the SYEP (Seattle Youth Employment Program).” I asked, “What does it have to do with?” He said “Art,” and I was like, “Cool.”

Then my counselor Marie gave me the background of what Urban ArtWorks is, how they do big murals for famous artists and how it’s just a really good experience, so I was like, “Sure!”

Public art is kind of like words for the people who can’t speak. Or for people who choose not to speak. With poetry, or this painting we’re doing today, or even random splats on the wall, it tells a story for people who can’t.

I have this big idea for when I get older of creating a big homeless shelter, that’s more than a homeless shelter, that helps people get back on their feet and find a job, like a second chance kind of thing.”


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