ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The high school students at South Valley Academy are learning entrepreneurial skills this semester through participating in an online workshop called Moving Forward. The event is put on by Working Classroom and the organization hopes to raise money through their fundraiser to redistribute that money back to the students.
Working Classroom is an arts and social justice organization that is focused on cultivating the artistic, civic and academic minds of local youth. Students who participated in the introduction to art workshop learned how to make mixed media pieces.
John Acosta, the new media and communications director for Working Classroom said they hoped to provide a way to show students that their art is worth something. “We thought it’d be a really awesome idea to try to get together and find a way to get them some capital. Economically for everyone, it’s been really tough, so we were just thinking of ways to get money into their hands just before Christmas,” Acosta said.
The project was a collective art piece comprised of 12 wooden panels that when put together make a linear piece. It will be donated to a nonprofit that provides medical services. The project focused on how the students have been dealing with the repercussions of COVID-19 as a way to deal with the emotions associated with that.
Acosta said one of the goals of the organization is to always pay students for their work. “It does create a shift in their mind of ‘I am a person who can contribute to society and I’ve shown it already.'”
While the organization has been active for 32 years, they still rely on donations from the community like they are for this fundraiser. “It’s been really tough, even before COVID it was tough. We’re a grassroots organization and we don’t have a lot of money to play with,” Acosta said. “We survive month by month on different grants and the contributions that the community gives to us as well.”
The organization hopes to raise $2,200 to pay each student about $200 for their art pieces. Acosta said they’re very close to hitting their goal with about $500 left to go. To donate, follow their PayPal link, or for more information, visit their website at workingclassroom.org.