Creativity in Action for Adolescents
Hit the Streets is a summer work program in which underserved youth from Central and South Seattle make public art for their community. Every summer 24 adolescents aged 12-14 work with a team of professional public artists to create art for a neighborhood park, garden, street corner, or vacant lot.
The Hit the Streets team of artists and youth create public art projects that transform vacant lots, city parks, p-patches, and building fašades into significant community landmarks. In a month of workshops, they design and fabricate their artwork from materials that include metal, concrete, glass, mosaic tile, wood, and Milestone. In the process they learn to use both hand and power tools such as saber saws, drill presses, plasma cutters, and routers.
Hit the Streets is the first job experience for many participants, and they meet daily deadlines as they learn reliability, initiative, and teamwork. Their daily job incentive is working toward earning a savings-account stipend of $200-$300.
Hit the Streets has left a legacy of major public art installations in the Central Area and South Seattle, on First Hill, and in Squire Park. For over six hundred participants, it has been an opportunity to learn how to problem-solve challenges creatively and handle a job successfully. The final impact is a fine sense of pride for creating an important and lasting contribution to their community.
Six urban totems, constructed of Milestone, tile, and aluminum, draw imagery from urban fauna and flora.