Village Industries

At A Glance

What: Village Industries is our pre-employment program for teens and middle-school youth that combines art and justice with social enterprise to build self-sufficiency and actualize creative power.

Why: Village Industries helps teens develop critical “whole life” competencies that directly counter the effects of trauma and poverty, including knowledge and credentials; creativity; social skills/networks; agency; and the ability to manage stress.

Who: Teens ages 13-19. More than 350 teens per year join one or more creative studios that produce high-quality products and services for local clients who wish to offer, feature, or leverage youth perspectives.

How: For example, a photography class will explore the concept of self-portraiture over the course of a semester. Students will learn the basics of digital photography and the history of self-portraiture and then compose their own self-portraits. The class culminates with an exhibit at the end-of-semester showcase. The program intentionally simulates the creative agency experience so that youth can safely practice the process of moving from research to ideation, to production, to presentation. We believe these are the very skills needed for young people to achieve social and economic upward mobility.

Go to Program


I learned that if you’re going to be a singer, it’ll take work. It turned me from just “I want to have fun” to “I want to have fun, but I want to do it well, and grow into professional settings.”

— Emyne, Village alumna