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Radio Camp 2019: Juxtaposition Arts, a creative engine in the heart of north Mpls.

The arts non-profit is teaching young people the skills they need to succeed in life

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Students and mentors pose for a photo outside of Juxtaposition Arts
MPR's 2019 radio camp for high school students paid a visit to Juxtaposition Arts -- or JXTA -- in north Minneapolis on July 30, 2019. Each student worked with an MPR mentor to produce a feature story about a person or a project at Juxtaposition Arts.
Marianne Combs | MPR News

How do you get young people who might not even own a radio to fall in love with radio?

That's the mission of our annual Radio Camp, a week-long program for high school students in partnership with ThreeSixty Journalism at the University of St. Thomas. This summer, eight students from diverse backgrounds came to MPR News to get firsthand exposure to our broadcast center and learn the basics of what we do: field recording, interviewing, writing stories and voicing their own scripts.

The camp was created to honor the legacy of Toni Randolph, a longtime MPR News journalist and champion of ThreeSixty. Toni believed newsrooms should reflect the diversity of the communities they serve.

This year's camp focused on Juxtaposition Arts — or JXTA — in north Minneapolis. Each student worked with an MPR mentor and produced a feature story on a person or project at Juxtaposition Arts. The results? Inspiring, sound-rich radio storytelling — featuring the students' own voice tracks and the audio they gathered in the field — mixed by a professional sound engineer.

Listen to all of the students' pieces below.

Roger Cummings, co-founder

Juxtaposition Arts co-founder Roger Cummings.
Juxtaposition Arts co-founder Roger Cummings stands in front of one of the many murals that grace the walls of the north Minneapolis non-profit.
Samira Mohamed | MPR News
Roger Cummings, co-founder
by MPR

By Samira Mohamed

Radio Camp reporter Samira Mohamed poses for a photo
Radio Camp reporter Samira Mohamed
Courtesy of Theresa J. Malloy | ThreeSixty Journalism

When he was a teenager, Roger Cummings had three things on his mind: how to not get bullied, how to make money and how to get girls. It turns out all three problems had the same solution. 

Alex Smith, designer and educator

Textiles & Screen Printing Lab Lead Alex Smith holds up a bag and pillow.
Juxtaposition Arts Textiles and Screen Printing Lab Lead Alex Smith shows some of the lab's work.
Courtesy of Theresa J. Malloy | ThreeSixty Journalism
Alex Smith, designer and educator
by MPR

By Ayo Olagbaju

Radio Camp reporter Ayo Olagbaju
Radio Camp reporter Ayo Olagbaju
Courtesy of Theresa J. Malloy | ThreeSixty Journalism

Many of us have told our parents we were going to a friend’s house, only to head somewhere else. But Alex Smith didn’t just sneak off to a party — he got on a plane to Europe to paint in as many countries as he could.

The essence of Essence

Juxtaposition Arts apprentice Essence Enwere
Juxtaposition Arts apprentice Essence Enwere stands with some of her creations.
Safiya Mohamed | MPR News
The Essence of Essence Enwere
by MPR

By Safiya Mohamed

Radio Camp reporter Safiya Mohamed poses for a photo.
Radio Camp reporter Safiya Mohamed
Jacqueline Martinez | MPR News

Art has always been an outlet for Essence Enwere. But she didn’t realize how talented she was until she was 16, when she started apprenticing at Juxtaposition Arts. Now she’s collaborating, creating and exploring abstract designs that spark conversations about humanity and community.

The magic of graphic design

Artists pose with their artwork
Graphic design artists Patricio Delara and Avahnni Lewis pose with some of their art.
Francisca Aravena | MPR News
The magic of graphic design
by MPR

By Francisca Aravena

Radio Camp reporter Francisca Aravena speaks editor Bill Wareham
Radio Camp reporter Francisca Aravena.
Laura Yuen | MPR News

You probably don't think about graphic design much — if you think about it at all. But it might just be the art form you're most familiar with, even if it's all in the subconscious. Because graphic design is everywhere, from your favorite brands, to billboards you see during long commutes, to the cover of your favorite album. 

A new skate park in north Minneapolis

Bird Coulter and Qadiym Washington at Juxtaposition Arts' skate park
Apprentices Bird Coulter and Qadiym Washington at Juxtaposition Arts' skate park, which they helped create.
Sam Choo | MPR
New skate park in north Minneapolis
by MPR

By Datelle Straub

Radio Camp reporter Datelle Straub holds equipment
Radio Camp reporter Datelle Straub.
Courtesy of Theresa J. Malloy | ThreeSixty Journalism

A new temporary skate park is helping to redefine the character of north Minneapolis, and it’s drawing skateboarders from outside the neighborhood.

Sparking community solutions… with bubbles

Juxtaposition Arts' Jahliah Holloman
Juxtaposition Arts' Outreach and Engagement Assistant Jahliah Holloman
Alex Baumhardt | MPR
Sparking community solutions with bubbles
by MPR

By Josie Morss

Radio Camp Reporter Josie Morss holds equipment
Radio Camp Reporter Josie Morss
Courtesy of Theresa J. Malloy | ThreeSixty Journalism

Jahliah Holloman says creating community change is easier when people are in the right frame of mind. And who can be mad at bubbles?  

An old wall, a new mural and an opportunity to collaborate

Juxtaposition Arts' Jordan Hamilton works with apprentices.
Contemporary Art and Public Murals Lab Lead Jordan Hamilton works with Juxtaposition Arts' apprentices on the design of a new mural.
Courtesy of Theresa J. Malloy | ThreeSixty Journalism
Juxtaposition Arts' next mural
by MPR

By Jacqueline Martinez

Radio Camp reporter Jacqueline Martinez
Radio Camp reporter Jacqueline Martinez
Datelle Straub | MPR

Visual artist Jordan Hamilton says working together is a key part of what students learn at Juxtaposition Arts.

The future of the skate park

Josiah Lemm interviews DeAnna Cummings
Radio Camp reporter Josiah Lemm interviews Juxtaposition Arts co-founder DeAnna Cummings.
Curtis Gilbert | MPR
Learning by doing
by MPR

By Josiah Lemm

Radio Camp reporter Josiah Lemm
Radio Camp reporter Josiah Lemm
Courtesy of Theresa J. Malloy | ThreeSixty Journalism

JXTA co-founder DeAnna Cummings says the new skate park may be the best thing her non-profit has ever done — which has her re-thinking its future.