Building on the legacy of artistic and design excellence demonstrated by Buffalo’s architectural heritage, SACRA creates teaching/learning opportunities where exceptional quality, historical understanding, and richness of imagination in design and construction are encouraged, and teaches the necessary skills for employment in the fields of carpentry and woodworking.
Over the course of the 15-week program, students work on a variety of projects, ranging from building their own toolboxes to the design and creation of unique environments. In addition to construction skills training, the students also receive training in life-enhancement and job skills to assist with their transition into the workforce.
The trainees meet with industry leaders, work with guest instructors and speakers, and tour significant assets of Buffalo’s architectural heritage, as well as visit work sites.
The program has a project-based curriculum, focusing on the design and construction of creative place-making environments that have the potential for high impact and visibility within the community. Every participant has an opportunity to use new tools and learn new skills while working toward a common goal. The trainees work with students in Erie Community College’s Architecture Technology program to learn and enhance their design skills and thinking. By bringing together trainees from diverse backgrounds and with varying degrees of experience, SACRA is helping to bridge the social and economic gaps that exist in our community.
SACRA works closely with local developers, construction companies, and manufacturers, enabling it to nurture the specific skills and resources required in the workforce. It is working to establish a direct pipeline for program graduates to secure work more easily, as the training is designed to respond to the needs identified by potential employers.
In June of 2017, the AK Innovation Lab and its partners were recommended by the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) Our Town program for an award of $100,000 to support SACRA. The Our Town grant program of the NEA supports creative placemaking projects that help to transform communities into lively, beautiful, and resilient places with the arts at their core. The NEA awarded 89 Our Town grants from more than 350 applications in 2017. Learn More