AGA Completes Transformational Viva Verde Program
Quentin and Patti help Councilmember, Chris Riley, and Enviro-queen, Brandi Clark, judge the Weirdest Commute Contest on National PARKing Day.
On June 14, 2009 Austin Green Art launched into a sixteen-week odyssey working with forty at-risk 14-24 year olds each workday. While we’ve done projects with “kids from ages 1 to 92” on many occasions, we had never worked specifi cally with at-risk young people or structured activities to be “full-time” work. The program was structured to put two shifts of twenty participants “to work” in a morning and afternoon shift each day. On their off-shift they had classroom time for “job-readiness training.” Our staff of three consisted of Robby, Dave and myself. The schedule I developed leading up to the start of the program balanced work at AGA Central (the warehouse and garden), job-site work at client locations and field trips, films and presentations about environmental issues and art-making. Viva Verde was a $2 million stimulus-funded program run by Goodwill, which placed 600 participants at job-sites around the city. The kids were paid $7.25/hr for the eight-hour day