© Frederick Loewer

The musician, producer and designer Shelly Quest is Artist-in-Residence within the framework of the Participatory Residency Program of the ADKDW in Cologne from January 2023. In collaboration with Jugendwerkstatt Chorweiler, she will develop a participatory program for young people from the north of Cologne during the first half of 2023.

Cooperation with the Jugendwerkstatt Chorweiler

To strengthen the cultural participation of socially marginalized groups, the Academy of the Arts of the World 2021 launched the Participatory Residency Program. Since then, the program has been exploring new forms of collaboration and is particularly aimed at queer persons of color. Cultural participation is closely linked to social circumstances and unequal structural conditions. For the implementation of the program, the ADKDW therefore cooperates with changing local partner institutions and thus makes it its task to integrate their needs and interests into the content-related and structural processes of program design. For more than 40 years, the Jugendwerkstatt Chorweiler of the Jugendfreizeitwerk Köln e.V. has been helping adolescents and young adults find their bearings in life and preparing them for graduation from high school. This process, which takes place within the framework of work-based pedagogical instruction and a professional college, is based on self-awareness and autonomy. The young people are trained in three trades: printing, woodworking and metalworking. For many, the one-year intensive vocational and social orientation program serves as a springboard into working life and social participation.

© Katja Illner © Katja Illner

The artist Shelly Quest

Shelly Quest also looks back on many years of experience working with children and young adults: "Working with youth gives me great satisfaction because I was a teenager with dreams I couldn't realize. In a world dominated by adults, the voices of youth are drowned out. I want to be an adult who helps young people fulfill their dreams and aspirations." For more than 20 years, the artist has developed participatory activities, mentoring, and workshops in a variety of contexts that playfully challenge young people to think about themselves and their lives in community. Born in the Bronx, NYC, Shelly Quest now lives and works as a musician, producer and designer in Cologne, Germany. In her artistic work she uses diverse means such as color, sound and movement to express her activist approach. In the foreground is the demand for the social empowerment and inclusion of marginalized people, especially in culture. As a rapper, she also challenges her audience with empowering and provocative lyrics, questioning existing images of roles and society.

© Kai Kanthak © Frederick Loewer

Regular glimpses of Shelly Quest's work with the Jugendwerkstatt Chorweiler can be followed on ADKDW's social media channels from mid-January.

The Participatory Residency Program is realized with the kind support of the Land-schaftsverband Rheinland (LVR).