The Latin American Youth Center, (LAYC) Art & Media House is the perfect place for a creative teen. Picture this: the school day is over and you can head to a building that serves as Art Gallery, Recording Studio, Computer Lab, has a basketball hoop out back, a yard big enough for you to garden in, and a room full of musical instruments. All that AND there’s some popcorn while you hang out with your friends in the kitchen? Yep! Perfect.
StoryCorps Door-to-Door made an Historias stop in Washington, DC and the Art & Media House served as one of our local partners, letting us use their amazing recording studio for two recording days, as well as helping us celebrate the Historias Initiative at their Art Gallery. There we had the opportunity to meet some very talented youth. Among them were Jefferson, a filmmaker, Joel, a photographer, and Shannon (also known as Lady Limelight), a poet. These teens shared with us their talent and hopes, with Lady Limelight gracing the attendees of the Historias celebration by reciting one of her poems about the impact of gentrification in D.C. During his StoryCorps interview, Joel talked about all the Dominican delicacies his grandma cooks, and about how the food helped him connect with a country he’s never visited. In his part, Jefferson spoke about his fascination with horror and suspense movies, about how they instilled in him the desire to direct, and how relevant to everyday life they can be. StoryCorps had the chance to record the voices of these youth, right as they are preparing to create goals for themselves and to discover who they are. The Art & Media House encourages them to discover their true self through art, in its many forms.