By Kathy Chouteau
RYSE Youth Center, an organization that aims to create safe spaces made for and led by local youth, will host the “Grand Opening” of its RYSE Commons Sat., May 14 from 2 to 5:30 p.m. at 3939 Bissell Ave. in Richmond, per its website.
Organizers say the opening will debut the youth-centered hub’s new and renovated buildings and outdoor spaces. The afternoon event will include tours of the spaces, performances, artwork, family friendly fun, food and other activities.
The event marks the culmination of a process that saw the renovation of the organization’s existing center into a 45,000 sq. ft. campus—or “commons”—that reps say will “better hold and amplify youth voice,” while expanding RYSE’s programs and partnerships by 300 percent. The project broke ground in September 2019.
According to the organization’s website, RYSE Commons will be a hub for “healing, personal development, play, expression, incubating ideas, performances, art, launching businesses, exploring technology, connecting with universities and partners.”
RYSE serves more than 700 youth annually between the ages of 13 and 21. Of those youth, 98 percent are people of color and originate from at-risk backgrounds.
RYSE underscored that COVID-19 protocols will be in place during the mostly outdoor event and that masks will be required of all attendees over age two. Guests will also be asked to participate in onsite rapid testing and to complete a health and safety questionnaire (that screens for symptoms and exposure to COVID-19) 24 hours prior to the event.