On the evening of October 12th, the Northside YouthCafe presented The Heart and Soul Youth Showcase, nourishing the mind, body and soul through food and music. The event kicked off a collaboration of organizations in North Minneapolis committed to working with youth to gain jobs, and to introduce new areas for careers in urban agriculture. We also want to help students learn how to eat and prepare healthy foods, and to choose these foods over easy to get, easy to buy processed alternatives. We are hoping that these teenagers will build our future. Youth Café flyer
The Youthcafe is a bit like the old “Soul Train” TV shows. There is an in-house audience of people who are there to observe how a healthy meal is prepared, enjoy eating together, and learn some health tips. Then there are some peers who have musical or poetry or other talents who will be performing for the group. After the session, the video tape will be edited for a show on Cable TV with the hope of getting the message out to thousands of other teens in North Minneapolis and beyond. The video will also be on YouTube.
This effort launches the collaboration: Oak Park (Pillsbury Community) is hosting the space, Youthrive is overseeing the video and editing, Project Sweetie Pie has the concept and is getting students. As well, Northside Fresh, Mr. Cleanhouse, Dr. Mumbo Jumbo, Appetite for Change, are bringing resources. Chef Big E, Eric Austin is the chef for the evening. It is the combined effort of hundreds of people.
Thanks to Alliance Steering Committee member Megan Nieto Curran for representing the Alliance at the event. It is the Alliance that brings the dollars that helped get this project going. And, we believe that General Mills and other foundations might jump in to help us make this a monthly event.