OliveTree Creative Arts Community Center

Youths, working alongside volunteers will build a stronger, healthier community, by converting an abandoned building in the heart of Truth or Consequences into the Olive Tree, a Creative Arts Community Center. AppleTree supports various avenues for youth to have say in their community. A local youth service learning council conducted county-wide youth surveys, identifying community pride, hope for a brighter future, & meaningful afterschool activities as the greatest needs to help turn the curve on negative statistics plaguing the area.

With big ideas & small budgets, these teens tackle small tasks like food drives, community gardens, & volunteering in afterschool settings. When a 4,000 sq ft abandoned church was donated to AppleTree, we turned to the youth for input. The youth visualize a space where they can create & sell art. Through a facilitated process, the vision expanded to include academic enrichment, cultural awareness, & the healing arts. A family pledged a pottery/ceramic studio.

Sowers, a group of volunteer RVers (80% are veterans) committed to volunteer alongside youth during the demolition & renovation of the facility. AppleTree is able to locate our home visiting program to the space, providing regular office hours, maintenance, & utilities, in addition to offering parenting classes, Kinder Music, & Baby Yoga. The youth have created a sustainable business plan.

Once open, the OliveTree will offer unduplicated, multifaceted, & interdisciplinary forms of art vital to academic achievement, social & emotional support, & civic engagement, to be offered with equitable access. The OliveTree will provide space for students, families, & the community to experience the physical, emotional, mental, social, aesthetic, spiritual, & economic benefits of art, helping maintain health & wellbeing. The space will also allow for youth-driven social entrepreneurship, lead to reduced risky behaviors, & help close the achievement gap.