Letter From The Executive Director
by Susan Mernit
In our world, it’s not unusual for a nine-year-old to come through on a school visit, be exposed to the industrial arts, return as a middle-schooler to take a class, and then dive right in as a high school student, taking dozens of classes and participating in advanced leadership training before they graduate from high school. Even more special, a significant number of these young adults are still engaged with The Crucible—as teaching artists, studio staff, volunteers, and community members.
With programming for young people ages 8-18 that includes field trips and school visits for more than 1,400 youth every year, over 150 youth classes, camps that serve more than 900 youth during summer, the Fuego Youth Leadership Program for teens ages 15-18, the Earn-A-Bike Program and Art Bike classes—there is a lot to be proud of inside this report.
In the last year, the team has become more focused and intentional about viewing our artistic work with youth through an economic development and equity lens. We are working hard to raise funds from foundations and corporate donors to expand the number of subsidized opportunities we can offer middle and high school youth, as well as expanding the total number of youth we serve and building more in-depth programs.
We are having a deep conversation with partners, students, parents, and staff about The Crucible’s work preparing interested youth for careers in the trades. And as the creative economy takes hold, we are also examining how we can better support young people and adults with an interest in artisan skills in accessing quality training, and the entrepreneurial and financial literacy skills necessary for them to be successful.
This report on our work with youth and its impact is one of the critical ways we measure ourselves and a story we want to share with you.
P.S. If you’d like to engage in or support our youth programs, please get in touch!