Client: Metro Louisville Government
Project: Mayor's SummerWorks
Artist: Koren Shadmi

In 2014, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer laid out his plan again for building a pipeline for youth in the community to work with local employers during the summer, gain workplace skills in those seven weeks of employment and come back to fill entry-level or higher jobs after they complete school.

In 2014, employers and donors responded to the Mayor's SummerWorks program by putting 2,181 youth to work! Recent studies by University of Chicago show that a summer jobs program that engaged mentors to help troubled kids stay on track is linked with a big reduction in youth arrests for violent crimes. With this knowledge in mind, Metro Louisville and the Mayor's SummerWorks program signed on to XLerateART, selecting Israeli born, New York based artist and illustrator Koren Shadmi to create a graphic illustration depicting a potential SummerWorks experience in Louisville. Shadmi, whose work regularly appears in publications including New York Times and Mother Jones came to Louisville for a 1 month residency, interviewing participants in the SummerWorks program, and engaging with community members before creating the 8-page accordion fold graphic illustration.

The IDEAS xLab team combined strategy recommendations for expanding the SummerWorks initiative into a "Creative Citizens" program now being designed with YouthBuild Louisville.