DENVER – Kenneth Woods, all grown up and professional, appeared at the door of the Arts-Street Accelerator a few days ago. An Arts Street Alumni of 1999, he currently holds a position as a certified nursing assistant. But he is still growing from his artistic roots – spoken word, singing, songwriting, and drawing – that were cultivated by Arts Street. He still hams in front of the camera.
Kenneth insistently said: “Stella Yu and the Arts Street program fostered my artistic gifts and helped me develop into a more well-rounded person. I thank them for being an outlet for youth and hope to lend my hands, my soul, and my art to continuing the success of Arts Street for years to come.”
Alumni, volunteers and creative mentors, together with generous foundations like Xcel Energy, are investing in creative youth today to build the smart workforce needed for tomorrow. With innovative job training, Arts Street is ready to put to work the recent grant of $5,000 from the Xcel Energy Foundation for the project titled Exploring, Developing and Practicing Marketable Skills through Arts and Technology in 2013.
Arts Street’s approach to job training is three-pronged: youth are exposed to technology via their interest in the arts; if interested they are offered training in high growth areas like GIS mapping, web development and video production; and then provided with opportunities to put their skills and creativity to work in team jobs and project internships.
Xcel Energy invests in its local communities with grants, charitable contributions and volunteer time. Xcel Energy is a U.S. electricity and natural gas company with regulated operations in eight Midwestern and Western states, and provides a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related products and services to 3.4 million electricity and 1.9 million natural gas customers. Company headquarters are located in Minneapolis, and on the web at www.xcelenergy.com.