Museum builds community sustainability with opportunities from artistic expression to entrepreneurship
April 2018 - The mission of the Sojourner Truth Multicultural Art Museum and Development Center is to foster personal and civic well-being in our community through fine, applied, and performing arts. We believe that the desire to experience and participate in creativity is essential to optimum human expression and development. We carry out our mission by increasing access and exposure to art, by developing understanding and appreciation of art through educational and academic programs, and by inviting active participation of community members of all ages in creating and promoting art. Our museum has been very successful in developing art programs in our community. Sojourner Truth Development Center sponsors year-round educational programs and projects for all ages. These include, among others:
SOJO Artscape, a delinquency prevention program utilizing mural art as tool to create change. Youth learn mural conceptualization & design and create portable mural projects during community festivals and events for the entire community to come and paint.
SOJO Summer Camp, an 8 week program of mentoring and art instruction with free lunch for children and youth 6-18 years old. Participants engage in the following art activities: ceramics, foam sculpture, art deco, recycled art, jewelry making, batik and tie –dye, painting in all mediums, collage making, paper mache.
Circle of Peace, Diversity and Culture, a program that empowers youth and families to create public art and community gardens in their own communities.
Out of Box Field Trips, which connect youth with the outdoors, with art in the community, and with agency-sponsored youth conferences and events.
Still I Rise Youth Development, a program that encourages teens to consider the arts as a career path and offers job information and aid, mentoring, academic tutoring leadership development, internships and art scholarships.
In Pursuit of Truth, a violence prevention program that provides stress awareness workshops for youth and the entire family utilizing Art Therapy.
The Artist-In-Schools Program, which gives professional community artists the opportunity to enter into South Area neighborhood public school classrooms to teach visual art.
The SOJO Community Fine Arts Festival, which is a chance to honor and give recognition to community youth who have worked with Sojo Arts Museum and who have excelled in a particular artistic field.
As a consequence, there are many inspiring stories to attest to our success. For example, we have been instrumental in teaching youth art skills. One of our young artists has been able to sell their art. We also have an entrepreneur program for our youth to teach them business skills. The Museum youth entrepreneur program has provided a foundation for youth to be encouraged about being self-sufficient and resilient. In the last 2 years the museum has helped over 100 youth create businesses for themselves. Business have included: Thrift shop, jewelry business, DJ business, Slime business, Greeting card business, Decorative tile and Decorative waste can business, T-Shirt, Snow Cone and a Lotion business. Through our outreach programs, we strive to engage people of all ages and ability with accessible resources so they can participate in and enjoy art. To this end, Sojourner Truth reached out to over 12,000 community youth in a recent year. We have participated through community festivals, organizations, churches, and after school programs.
One of the milestones we have accomplished is the assistant development of an African Market where artists can display and sell their work. The Market also promotes local Black business in Sacramento giving them a platform to connect with other business and network. The African Market is held two times a month on Saturdays, at the museum. The market has been very successful and has continued growth potential. For more information and to learn how to support the Sojourner Truth Multicultural Art Museum please visit: http://www.sojoartsmuseum.org/