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Native Youth Arts Collective Exhibition

Thursday, August 22
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5:00-7:00 p.m.

Exhibition on view August 16-September 6

The Native Youth Arts Collective (NYAC) Exhibition features art created by Native American teens in a variety of media. NYAC has been providing free arts programming to indigenous youth in conjunction with Little Earth of United Tribes’ college readiness programming. Over the past three years, MCAD has partnered with NYAC to create a number of collaborative and public art projects. This collaboration with NYAC and Little Earth has emphasized mentorship, professional development through stipends for the teens, creative expression, and supportive relationships.

Established in 2011, Native Youth Arts Collective (NYAC) has worked with over thirty-five Native American teens and young adults residing in Little Earth and East Phillips neighborhoods, engaging them in arts activities and connects them with the creative resources of the Twin Cities region. Through these activities, NYAC addresses the need for arts experiences that intertwine meaningful mentorship and skill building for Native American youth. NYAC fosters cultural awareness by exposing teens to historical and contemporary art produced by Native American artists and facilitating art making among participants. The youth actively help shape programming and receive modest stipends for participating. NYAC is an independent entity, but works closely with Little Earth of United Tribes, specifically Little Earth’s youth service program School Success and its college readiness program, Wiconi Wasté.

MCAD has been collaborating with NYAC on a number of projects, including:

  • Jointly designing and creating a mural that celebrates Native American history and culture along the Midtown Greenway Bike Corridor in summer of 2017
  • Creating several large collaborative canvas paintings with artists Ed Charbonneau ’06 MFA and Jeremy Szopinksi of Rock9 Studios
  • A paper- and print-making session at MCAD that incorporated traditional Native American medicinal plants during the summer of 2018
  • A semester-long collaboration with MCAD’s Art in Community class during spring of 2019
  • A three-day session to design and produce a zine at MCAD in summer of 2019, taught by Michael Gaughan ’02

The artwork on display in this exhibition includes art created with MCAD, as well as a number of creative projects that have been completed independently by NYAC or in conjunction with their other community partners. 

The Native Youth Arts Collective Exhibition is a joint production of Native Youth Arts Collective and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Major funding provided by the Golberstein Public Art Fund, with additional support from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.

MCAD and NYAC wish to acknowledge and thank Little Earth of United Tribes, Walker Art Center, Highpoint Center for Printmaking, Better World Museum, Rock9 Studios, the Minnesota Vikings, Melodee Strong, Kerry Morgan, AnaLaura Juarez, Michael Gaughan, Kate Mohn, Heidi Haferman, Joe Beaulieu, Courtney Cochran, and Genevieve DeLeon for their support.