Recycled Treasures


Yonkers Arts to Introduce Environmental Justice Education Through Art Programs for the Youth

(Yonkers, NY-February 2022) Yonkers Arts is launching an art program that aims to inspire the youth to become climate conscious by creating art with recycled items. “Recycled Treasures” is a youth based arts and crafts workshop focusing on environmental justice and sustainability facilitated by Katori Walker and Phylisha Villanueva; hosted by Yonkers Arts. The purpose of this workshop is to provide the resources and education via the arts for youth to become “climate conscious,” and ambassadors for climate change. 

The youth will be engaged creatively by utilizing resources in-and-around the house, fostering problem-solving and critical thinking skills. “The ability to be able to identify art in our everyday surroundings is a skill we want our youth creatives to develop and will be one of the focal points for the workshop,” says Executive Director Ray Wilcox.  

“Recycled Treasures,” encourages children to draw inspiration from their cultures, struggles, and environments. Participants are encouraged to exercise their creative minds while exploring the use of recycled items. Phylisha Villanueva, workshop facilitator believes, “Creating a safe space that fosters self-advocacy, and social awareness allows children to envision a life with a network of support and community.”

Through a series of workshops beginning in March, youth will participate in art challenges and discussions with industry experts ending with a cumulative final art exhibition. Katori Walker, who co-created the workshop says, “Using art as a catalyst to educate young people on environmental justice will empower them to develop critical thinking skills to build up confidence and competence in worldly issues using their expressions.”

The “Recycled Treasures” arts and crafts workshops will take place every Sunday at the Yonkers Arts Space, located at 216 Lake ave Yonkers, NY from 2pm-3:15pm with the exception of major holidays. 



Yonkers Arts was founded in 2007 by a collection of community leaders who perceived the need for an all encompassing arts organization for a city the size of Yonkers. The founding board was comprised of community leaders from across Yonkers. The mission of Yonkers Arts is to develop a strong, effective, and cooperative network of artists, cultural organizations, and members of the community to promote and encourage the arts in the City of Yonkers. For more information, please visit: 

About Phylisha Villanueva

Writing poetry, epistle, and slamming poems is how I cope. The spoken word is how I riot, rejoice, and recharge. 

The improvisation of my performance originates from my involvement with the Jazz and Poetry Choir Collective. I’ve been performing with musicians for as long as I’ve recited poetry. 

My style was influenced by access to the gallery, visual arts, and Ekphrastic writing workshops. It gave my work a strong lens for colorful language and sensory details. Early on, I realized writing is communal and has a special relationship with visual arts. 

My poetry reflects and sometimes reimagines my community, it’s needs, the people, and their intersections. 

I write poetic memoirs. My stories are transformational, innovative, and forward-thinking. I’m committed to teaching others the tool of writing for healing, health, and abundance.