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Application Deadline: Monday, September 18 at 12:00 pm ET

Program Dates: October 5, 2023—January 27, 2024

Program Description: 

Youth Voices Lead is a community training program for youth organizers (ages 15-18) to strengthen their human rights knowledge and artistic tools and discover how to take action for human rights and social justice change.


In celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the world’s preeminent human rights document, ARTE’s Youth Voices Lead training program will provide emerging youth leaders with the opportunity to connect the larger concepts of human rights (as outlined in the UDHR) and social justice to the issues that directly impact their communities, e.g., mass incarceration, policing, abolition, and racial discrimination. 


Participants will:


  • Study social and racial justice through a human rights lens;  

  • Learn about artivist principles (the intersection of art and activism);

  • Learn how to create artwork for self-expression and advocacy for social change;

  • Meet other incredible youth from across New York City and build a community of young organizers and leaders;

  • Be exposed to artivists working on human rights issues;

  • Experience and learn how to lead activities to raise awareness and action around social and racial justice in their community; 

  • Participate in a cumulative art project to share their newly-learned community teachings and tools for activism; 

  • Receive a stipend of at least $250 to honor their labor.


Participants will be expected to: 


  • Attend 14, two-hour weekly sessions;

  • Complete all program paperwork before the start of the first program session; 

  • Complete all evaluation surveys (pre, mid, and post) and two, 20-minute check-ins with an ARTE team member; 

  • Create a final project to be showcased at the final community event on Saturday, January 20; 

  • Actively participate in all programming and any outside activities (includes having Zoom video on during any virtual sessions), which may include a mural creation weekend (dates yet to be determined); 

  • We also ask each applicant to provide us with the name and contact information of an adult mentor. An adult mentor is someone who we can periodically reach out to and invite to the final program event. They can be a teacher, school counselor, coach, older sibling, etc, but they should be 21+. It is okay if you don't have an adult mentor now, but if selected, you must have one before the start of the program.


The program will start on Thursday, October 5 and end with the final event on Saturday, January 20. In late September, select candidates will be invited to participate in a brief, 15-30 minute interview.


As of right now, Youth Voices Lead sessions will primarily be in-person, taking place virtually as needed. For this reason, we are currently only seeking applicants who reside in New York City.


Read what participants from previous YYL cohorts have to say about the program:


  • I will absolutely use this experience in the future! The knowledge I've gained and topics I've learned has opened my eyes on issues I would usually overlook because I felt like there could be nothing done. That mindset however, was wrong and it's because of ARTE that I realized this. Everything I do matters.

  • My favorite part of the program was how I got to interact with people my age that were as passionate and willing to learn as I am. I loved how the information I received in our weekly meetings always gave me a deeper perspective on how racial inequalities are always prevalent in our day to day lives. From this experience, I have learned and gained so many skills such as organization and teamwork that are applicable for my future advocacy activities.​

  • Through this process, I learned how to use my voice and advocate for issues in the form of art. I gained a strong understanding that art can also be a form of self expression and activism.

We are currently prioritizing youth in New York City, but stay in touch here if you are interested in joining future Youth Voices Lead cohorts!

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