Our Guiding Compass:
Heart of Our Work + Equity Commitment

KKC exists with the specific mission and purpose to serve young people who are experiencing homelessness and transition. We are one of the only arts organizations in the nation whose programming focuses exclusively on this population. The heart of our work is to provide young people experiencing homelessness and transition with arts experiences that teach artistic skills; support healing and transformation; and offer experiences of trust, stability, community, and belonging.

Programming Goals / Outcomes

1. Artistic Skills

  • To teach artistic skills—how to make art
  • To provide access to free artistic programs and supplies
  • To provide opportunities to learn and try new skills, new ways of thinking and being the world, new ways of thinking of themselves
  • To provide paid employment opportunities

2. Art + Healing

  • To support young people to move from day-to-day survival mode toward long-term stability and consistency
  • To provide space and tools to process, digest, and explore inner life and experiences through a variety of artistic mediums
  • To provide a safer space where youth can freely explore their dreams and next steps for their future
  • To create an environment where youth are inspired and encouraged to develop confidence and belief in themselves as creative beings
  • To offer something fun to look forward to, the opportunity to belong to a group, and the opportunity to receive positive strength-based feedback from peers and adults

3. Community + Belonging

  • To provide a place where youth feel respected, valued, and “safer” to express who they really are
  • To support youth to build positive, supportive, caring relationships with peers and adults through their relationships with KKC staff, artists, and participants
  • To expose and connect youth to local artists, arts community, and art spaces
  • To connect the Twin Cities arts community to talented up and coming young artists
  • To support and inspire emerging and established teaching artists to grow in their creative practice by providing tools, support, and collaboration in working with youth experiencing homelessness
  • To contribute to a safer more inclusive Downtown Minneapolis

Equity Values & Commitment

It is our value that our teaching artists, staff, and board reflect the racial diversity, cultural
diversity, gender diversity, and diversity of sexual orientation of the young people we serve.
We place particular emphasis on hiring, partnering with, supporting, and amplifying the work of
local, community-engaged artists of color, female artists, Black male artists, Asian and Asian-
American artists, Native and Indigenous artists, LGBTQ artists, immigrant artists, and artists
whose lived experience reflects and connects to that of the youth we serve, including artists
who have experienced homelessness; artists who have experienced trauma, healing, and
transformation; and artists who have been in the system.

  • We value both long-term, deep relationships with artists and partners over time, as well as regularly reaching out to develop new connections and work with new artists and partners each year.
  • We are committed to intentionally partnering with organizations in our community that value and reflect the youth we serve, including (but not limited to): community and grassroots organizations, POC-led organizations, and homeless shelters.
  • We are committed to providing programming that is culturally specific, relevant, and uplifting to the young people we serve.
  • We are committed to and to offering art-making at many levels of ability and scale.
  • We are committed to centering youth, artist, and community voice in the artistic planning and strategic decision-making of the organization.
  • We work to cultivate ….
    • Sense of welcome
    • Sense of belonging
    • Experience of dignity and respect
    • Identity as a creative being; a person with skills, value, and potential
    • Equity and racial equity in all that we do