In April 2016, New Avenues and global ideas and innovation company AKQA launched dfrntpigeon. Pronounced “different pigeon,” the brand gives youth at-risk of or experiencing homelessness an artful chance at employment. Mentored by professional creative and marketing experts, youth are paid to brand, market and design a clothing line that reflects their lives and experiences. The emerging apparel brand has collaborated with a few of Portland’s most recognizable brands- including Sizzle Pie, Deschutes Brewing, and Lardo – to design limited edition t-shirts exclusively for last year’s Design Week and continues to create new designs, with a new product launch event scheduled for early November.
Dominica De Venuta is our Social Enterprise Program’s new Program/Business Lead, supporting the youth engaged in dfrntpigeon and, as a graphic designer, providing professional mentorship.
What interested you about working with New Avenues and dfrntpigeon?
I am really excited to be working with the youth and guiding their creativity. Dfrntpigeon is such a great program that needs to be happening. I am interested to see its growth and the creative paths the youth take on their own. For me the biggest pay out is watching those creative lights turn on.
What kind of work did you do before coming here?
Before joining the New Avenues team I worked as a freelance graphic artists. My client list ranges from local small business to big box companies such as Adidas and Nike. I also own and operate a small apparel and flat stock screen printing business catering to indie bands and freelance artists. Phew! When do I sleep?
Apart from purchasing apparel, what is something the community can do to support dfrntpigeon and the youth involved?
There are some great ways to support dfrntpigeon and you can do them at the same time. Collaborate with us and spread the word. Tell your friends and colleagues about dfrntpigeon. We would love to design a graphic for your business and events!
Go to drntpigeon.com to check out the latest designs!