On the ten year anniversary of the Santa Fe Railyard, the new Warehouse 21 is poised to return to its role as a community wide asset - a diverse, inclusive, positive and welcoming Teen Center, encouraging the creation of art, involvement in public service, and meaningful exchange among cross-cultural and socioeconomically diverse youth. In partnership with the City of Santa Fe and other key supporters, the new Warehouse 21 can leverage two decades of investment and successful programming to realize the vision of vital engagement of young people in downtown Santa Fe.
Warehouse 21 brings together youth and working artists to create mentorships and opportunities in the arts. Since 1997, Warehouse 21 has served thousands of Santa Fe youth and young adults in the performing, media and visual arts. W21 has supported youth employment and partnered with and developed community service programs with schools and the courts. Utilizing project-based learning models, artistic resources and instruction, and collaboration, W21 provides free and sliding scale programs and activities on and off-site to enrich educational, entrepreneurial and employment opportunities for youth.
W21 provides programs to youth city-wide and is open to the public. W21 is supported through grant and individual donor funding, and generates some income through event rentals, sales and fees for service programs.
Warehouse 21 provides:
An attractive, creative, safe and educational place for young people downtown
STEAM skill development for entrance into the creative economy, as well as mentoring, inquiry-based learning, and collaboration across social divides
Certificate programs in partnership with local employers, such as SFCC, IATSE, Netflix, Descartes Labs, and Meow Wolf
Support for emerging and working artists
We undertook a survey of teens in Santa Fe, and received 154 responses total.
Teens expressed a desire to participate in a varied range of activities, notably Video Games, Music, and Photography.
Needs of Community Youth
The Youth Risk and reliance Survey is conducted every two years by the New Mexico Department of Health and the Department of Education. It is part of a national effort overseen by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention. From the 2017 YRRS results in Santa Fe County:
40% reported feeling sad or hopeless in the past 12 months
17% seriously considered suicide
48% reported drinking alcohol in another person’s home
55% of males and 52% of females reported 3 or more hours of screen time daily
47% aren’t involved in sports, clubs, or other extra-curricular activities
44% aren’t involved in music, art, literature, sports or a hobby. Not being involved in these activities is related to feelings of sadness or hopelessness as well as engagement in risky behaviors.
The CHRISTUS St. Vincent Community Needs Assessment 2017-2019 analyzed the data in the Youth Risk and resilience Survey (DOH) as well as focus group results, and attributed the feelings of depression to family issues but also feelings of disconnectedness. They cited family issues but also the lack of “community programs and supports.” This can also include a place to go for mentorship, belonging, creative outlet and camaraderie.
Warehouse 21 and its outreach programs is that place. The teens we have interviewed, and the school administrators we have met with, all agree that Warehouse 21 is a valuable resource to teens and should be revived. In future years W21 will undertake a more directed needs assessment. Nonetheless, the studies cited clearly show the need for mentorship opportunities, development of literacy and communication skills through participation in aesthetic and cultural activities, and positive support environments for our youth.
Goals and Objectives
Deliver excellent, engaging and challenging arts certificate-based programming onsite to 800 youth annually
Engage the broader public in youth-focused arts through exhibitions, music, dance, poetry and theatrical, performances, and town hall style community dialogues
Partner with schools and businesses to create pathways to creative success for local youth
Strengths and Core Competencies
While the Santa Fe Railyard features a number of youth friendly outdoor spaces and youth programs, there are no visible youth focused facilities other than Warehouse 21. Most spaces are oriented to older consumers, or only designate specific times for youth engagement.