Word on the Street

Matt Peiken | BPR News


It’s a Saturday afternoon at Asheville’s Arthur Edington Center, inside what was once an elementary school classroom converted into the well-lived-in home for the black and brown teens of Word on the Street.

Keitra Black-Warfield, a 15-year-old who attends Erwin High School, is among eight others at tables or on the floor, are painting, drawing and adding textiles destined for murals to hang from the walls here.

“It changed me for real,” Black-Warfield said of the program. “It taught me about your community, about your family, about your connections you build with people.”

Matt Peiken | BPR News

It’s a Saturday afternoon at the Arthur Edington Center in Asheville’s Southside. Two teenage girls are interviewing a woman named Charlotte, recording her observations and experiences growing up in this neighborhood.

“What changes have you seen in your community?”

“Well, changes I have seen ... Greens is a lot different from when I was back as a kid, when Mr. Green was alive …”

Youth of color are collecting stories from adults of color from this neighborhood through a project called Southside Stories. The stories are taking the form of video, audio, photography and visual art. Once the teenagers have collected and edited the stories, they’ll present them at a public showcase 4:30pm June 15 at the Edington Center.

Matt Peiken | BPR News

Every other Thursday during the school year, a dozen or so teenagers of color meet in a repurposed classroom at Asheville’s Arthur Edington Center.