Access to the Arts: Spotlight on Coyote Central

access_for_allOn August 1st, King County voters will have a chance to vote for Proposition 1, also known as Access for All. This fund would provide arts, science, and heritage organizations like KEXP with significant new resources to sustain existing programs, greatly expand free and reduced-price access to programming, and create new long-term partnerships with King County public schools and school districts. Access for All would be paid for with a .1% sales tax levy (1 penny on every $10 spent) which would cost the average King County household about $3 per month. If a majority of King County voters approve it, Prop 1 will create a new fund for arts, science, and heritage education and access for residents and public school students. Over the next week, we’ll be spotlighting a few of the other local organizations who will also see an impact from Prop 1, like today’s profile on Coyote Central.

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Formed in 1986, Coyote Central‘s mission is to “challenge young adolescents of every race and socio-economic background to build skills, creative thinking, self-awareness, and social awareness through hands-on projects with professionals in creative fields.” Over the years, they’ve encouraged creativity and self-awareness for over 14,000 middle-school youth of diverse races, economic backgrounds, family situations, and neighborhoods. From animation to glassblowing to playwriting, these kids are given the opportunity to work with adult mentors to learn the skills and tools of the medium, and to realize their own capabilities and passions. We asked Executive Director Claudia Stelle to tell us more about Coyote Central:

all photos by Jess Schwab, Program + Communications Manager at Coyote Central

Over the past year, what are some of your organization’s highlights in education, events, or programs for Seattle?
Over 1,600 youth last year spent 20-100 hours at Coyote Central working with professional artists, filmmakers, chefs, furniture makers, fashion designers, glass artists, animators, music producers, metal artists and other creative role models. Every course is hands-on, and kids design projects that are uniquely their own. Coyote kids also have opportunities to connect with their community through permanent or temporary public art projects. On July 22nd, Coyote kids will host a community gathering at Powell Barnett Park from 1:00-2:30 that will feature an interactive art installation and performance on the meaning of home.

What key aspect of your org’s work do most people in King County probably not realize?
In addition to learning skills and creative problem-solving, young people at Coyote have a chance to work with peers very different from themselves, from other races, cultures, neighborhoods, economic backgrounds, and abilities. Families pay only what they feel they can afford, so that cost is never a barrier.

What would passage of Proposition 1 mean for Coyote Central?
Coyote is bursting at the seams every summer, with ~1,200 registrations in full classes and another 800+ waiting list registrations. The youth of King County are hungry for hands-on art experiences, and there aren’t enough programs to meet the dire need for constructive, creative engagement in out-of-school time. Access for All funding will help Coyote Central expand to meet that need, and help other youth non-profits in other under-served neighborhoods to reach kids where they live so that every child has equitable access to a successful future.

To see an example of Coyote Central’s work, check out a music video below from Finn and Neveah, two students who took the Hip Hop class. You can follow Coyote Central via their Facebook and Instagram, and for more information, to volunteer your services, or to sign up your favorite youngster, visit their website.


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