Stories of Change: Storm Angeconeb

At 18 years old, Storm Angeconeb is already being called a Young Leader at Studio 393.

“Young Leader is my title here” Storm says. “I’ve been assigned a variety of tasks and have been a part of many projects in the last eight months.”

These projects include building a giant walking bear for the recent “Art City Parade” and painting pianos for “Play Your Part”, a Downtown Winnipeg Biz partnership with Graffiti Gallery that saw the design and decoration of 7 pianos that were then distributed in various parts of Winnipeg’s downtown. Play Your Part holds a special place in Storm’s heart. “When the pianos were finally finished and I saw one in front of Portage Place, I felt proud that I took part in the project” she says. Storm was also the artist who painted a beautiful mural on the signal box on the corner of Portage and Vaughn. “I’m so glad that I joined the Studio 393 program” she says. “It’s brought me to where I am today.”

Studio 393 is an art space located in Portage Place. As an initiative of Winnipeg’s Graffiti Arts Program, it is a place where youth in downtown can gather, meet, and be mentored by fellow young artists. The focus of the project is to provide a place where youth-at-risk can learn to express themselves creatively, giving them a positive outlet while keeping them out of harm’s way. As a Young Leader, Storm is part of a program that will receive funding from the upcoming 2014 CEO Sleepout, hosted by Downtown Winnipeg Biz and Change for the Better. Through support from the CEO Sleepout, Storm and three other participants will receive 3000 hours of employment, from February to December, mentoring youth in art and dance. A member of Studio 393 since 2013, Storm is happy to be a part of such a welcoming and nurturing organization. “My favorite thing about my job is working with the other artists here at the studio” she says. “I learn new techniques and honestly have the best time coming in every day. I look forward to going to work in the afternoons. I can happily say that I honestly love my job.”

For Storm, doing her job isn’t just about making art and having fun. The program is giving her real experience that will serve her well in her future career. A recent graduate from Churchill High School, Storm will be going to the University of Winnipeg in the fall, with the hope of entering a career in teaching.

“I enjoy working with children” she says. “I believe that, in order to succeed, you must work hard. I can’t wait to attend the University of Winnipeg!”

Attending the University of Winnipeg will also mean that Storm will be close to her beloved Studio 393, and will be able to stay in the heart of Winnipeg’s downtown. “I enjoy being downtown” she says. “Downtown Winnipeg is very welcoming and has developed so much over the years. I enjoy that the studio is located in Portage Place. To me it’s the center of the city.”

Until she heads to University, Storm looks forward to spending the rest of her summer making art and mentoring others at Studio 393. Art is something that she has enjoyed since childhood. “Growing up, I loved making art, drawings, paintings or any form of creativity” she says. Storm also enjoys the collaborative nature of art and the opportunities Studio 393 have given her to work with her fellow artists. “Every other week or so we are working on something entirely new” she says. “I enjoy coming into work and helping out. The Studio is filled with great people, and anyone would feel welcome coming in.”

For Storm, Studio 393 has become more than just a place for her to make art. It has become a second home, where she is able to learn new skills and teach them to others. “I never thought my work would come so far,” she says. "It has always been a goal of mine. Working at the studio has let me come across opportunities that have allowed me to go far with my work.”

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