Arts Liberation & Leadership Institute (ALLI)


Apply here!

The Arts Liberation and Leadership Institute (ALLI) is a paid 10-week teen leadership intensive where 25 youth are trained in artistry, social justice and organizing. Youth leaders develop as cultural workers in chosen arts pathways–Visual Arts, Digital Storytelling, and Music. This cohort of youth hones their arts and organizing skills, while deepening their understandings of race and social justice issues. They collaborate, build community and create art that challenges oppression and envisions a more just world.

Applications open until Monday September 14, 2020. We will notify folx of their acceptance into ALLI by Tuesday, September 22nd

ALLI 2020 takes place online via zoom. Tuesdays and Wednesday afternoons October 6th – December 9th, exact time TBD but around 3pm-5:30pm. Final ALLI showcase Saturday, December 12th.


Youth aged 14-19 who are interested in creating change through their artistry and leadership. 


    • $350 stipend upon completion of the program
    • Artist and activist community and collaborators
    • Professional development, leadership and social justice skills from dope Teaching Artists and mentors

ALLI 2020 Mentors and Teaching Artists:

Jesus McCloskey – Music: Hi, I’m Jesus I’m a multi-disciplined artist & experienced leader from Federal Way, WA. I studied TV & film production while in college but have been making music and visual art my whole life. Art & leadership are my two passions in life and if I’m not studying to grow in my passion then I’m helping others take the necessary steps to grow in theirs! If you’d like to checkout some of my work here is a link to my film company’s website, I designed it myself 🙂


Kevin Campos – Visual Arts: Versatile. creator of all arts, and open to arts of many, Kevin started his journey to art during 2016 when he applied to the summer intensive hip hop program The Residency. Producing one year, writing the next year, to rocking stages from Washington Hall, The MoPop Skychurch, Kame House, to a full stage at The Paramount, and many more. Kevin always admired the language of art since a young one and throughout his teenage years created on his own canvas from drawing, writing, performing, to starting his own brand with the goal of being greater with every encounter with art.

Teaching Artist, Producer, Designer, Artist.

Instagram: @theraincityboy

Adam Jabari Jefferson – Digital Storytelling: Adam Jabari Jefferson is an audio-visual griot and teaching artist. He is the founder and director of PhotOrganic Studio. Jabari plays with word, sound, and image in melanin-rich meditations. He received art commissions and awards from Midtown Square, King County, 4Culture, Seattle Arts & Culture, Artist Trust and ACKHO. Adam previously produced videos for National Geographic Magazine and Out of Eden Walk. Adam is a proud alumnus of Howard University (BBA, ‘05) and Northwestern University (MSJ, ‘12). In between degrees, he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cabo Verde, and helped launch One Step Away newspaper in Philadelphia. Jabari was born in Chicago and raised by a village.

Jeff Young – Digital Storytelling: Jeff Young has always had an interest in writing and short stories. In high school, he learned of an Arts Corps spoken word class and decided to check it out. He found he enjoyed writing poetry and explored an interest in hip hop through songwriting. After graduating from high school, he was offered a job as an assistant for the very class where he had been exercising his creativity. Since then, he has worked with youth of all ages, around various art forms such as writing poetry, performing short plays, making music, and learning to screen print custom designs on posters and clothing. He also served as a member of the Arts Corps board of directors, for nine years, where he learned about the inner workings of a non-profit and just how much collaboration is involved, at every level of an organization, to make programs happen.

Erica Merritt – Music: Erica Merritt began singing and performing at 5. In middle school, she was featured in a band called “Starlighters,” which consisted of three student vocalists and a few members of the faculty. At 14, she joined theatre and music performance groups at Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center. She studied voice and music in college, and began teaching choir through Northwest Folklife in 1998. She has continued to teach voice, songwriting and choir intermittently through various art organizations over the last 10 years. Erica has also worked in the field of social and human services for over 15 years and has enjoyed the amazing opportunity to combine her passions of social well-being and music through the art of teaching.

Maria Guillien-Valdovinos – Visual Arts: Maria Luisa Guillen Valdovinos (Poesia Mariarte) is a visual creative thinker/artist, educator/art therapist and Indigenous Rights observer in environmental, food, and social justice movements; based in occupied Coast Salish Territories. Art ingrained in cultural experience, she graduated in 2010 from the University of Washington in Bio-Cultural Anthropology with a minor in Gender & Sexuality Studies. She was born in Zihuatanejo, Guerrero Mexico and after studying graffiti in Lima, PERU IN 2009 with Jorge Miyagi and drawing flowers in Biology projects begun building creatively  in cultural political movements, traveling with the National Indigenous Congress, parents of the 43 students of Ayotzinapa, and visited Autonomous Zapatista communities as a human rights observer with FRAYBA, an indigenous human rights organization based in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas Mexico. Featured as a performer in BBC’s 100 Womxn in Mexico City 2016 and A Published Writer featured in  “Chapter 9: Travels of a Diaspora Community: From La Sierra Madre Y Tierra Caliente to the Pacific Northwest” MEXICAN-ORIGIN FOODS, FOODWAYS, AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS: A DECOLONIAL PRESPECTIVES, The University of Arkansas Press 2017; Publication “Xin Fronteras”, Seattle Journal for Social Justice Seattle University School of Law. Overall she is a lover of all things creatively expressive.