Those of us with Surge Columbus are thrilled to announce a new member of our collective: the multidisciplinary power house TRANSIT ARTS. I first met TRANSIT ARTS’ director, Jackie Calderone fourteen years ago when I first moved to Columbus to work at the Wexner Center. At the time, her program for youth was called CAPAcity (CAPA’s youth arts organization at the time) and observing her work in action I encountered happy, productive, motivated and inspired young people, choosing of their own volition to spend their free time creating through the arts. I heard tales of successful transitions her young people made from their work in Capacity to college and careers. Jackie’s work inspired me to examine what other opportunities for arts programming existed In Columbus. It turns out that while there were many terrific experiences offered to the youngest members of our community, teens were clearly being under-served. I saw the incredible results that Jackie was achieving with her youth programs and resolved to learn from her as I built teen-focused programs at the Wexner Center.
Then, in 2011, along came a unique opportunity to partner with four other amazing community arts and culture organizations to create a network of opportunities for youth. As we conceptualized what we would create, my own contributions were shaped by what I had seen at Capacity and, later, TRANSIT ARTS. After solidifying our network, it only made sense to invite my original inspiration to join us at the table. They said yes!
TRANSIT ARTS is a citywide youth arts development program of Central Community House and the Columbus Federation of Settlements and works in partnership with the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education. TRANSIT ARTS is rooted in a rich history of community engagement and enlists young artists, ages 12-21, in intensive programs of coaching by outstanding artists and other professionals from the creative industries.
TRANSIT ARTS provides young people with a variety of FREE interactive, multi-disciplinary arts experiences in a safe and empowering environment. Activities include high quality arts workshops, professional performance and exhibition opportunities, entrepreneurial projects, and paid apprentice positions.
Participants develop individual “road maps” (goals and achievement plans) while attending workshops and master classes, and are aided in the development of their talents through expert guidance, frequent opportunities for public recognition of their successes, and engagement with outstanding artists from our community and around the world.
TRANSIT ARTS’ philosophy of free, openly accessible and career-building support for youth perfectly dovetails with Surge’s goal to create open and connected learning opportunities for teens so they can develop their skills in critical thinking, civic engagement, media literacy, media production, and creative expression.
TRANSIT ARTS is opening a brand-new facility for youth later this spring, located In Old Towne East on Bryden Road. Stay tuned for details, but until that time you will find their programs located at Central Community House, 1150 East Main Street, in Columbus. Please visit http://www.transitarts.com/ for more Information.