A memory box explodes: In Germantown, ‘Eban Youth’ tracks 6 years of making art with Black kids

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A visit to “Eban Kids” at the Allens Lane Art Center in Germantown is like entering the bedroom of an enthusiastically creative child.

Every inch of the walls is decorated: photos overlayed with flowers, collages of friends wearing funny hats, crayon drawings, paper butterflies, hearts, picture books, notes of encouragement and hand-made award certificates affectionately Scotch-taped with purple feathers.

A collage wall of photos taken by an ongoing cohort of young people who have collaborated with Sabraiya Shipley on art projects for years. (Peter Crimmins/WHYY)

These are artifacts from a long partnership between poet and community organizer Sabriaya Shipley, 28, and a cohort of about 15 teenagers she has been working with on various art projects over the last six years.

Shipley saves everything.

“This is a compilation of memory boxes,” she said. “We had someone come and say, when you walk into this gallery space it’s as if I’ve shrunken you down and put you in my memory box and told you to just walk around.”

  • February 9, 2024
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