Congratulations PYC Graduating Class of 2015!


More good stories from PCYC in the summer issue of Perspectives.




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Thanks for your patience as we improve it.



PYC seeks bids for our Breakfast/Lunch program for 2015-2016 school year.

Requirements to apply:

  • Must have experience catering other school programs.
  • Have attended training and know Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) guidelines.
  • Have participated in a MDE audit process.

Please submit information on the following:

  • Breakfast and lunch costs
  • Condiment including serving utensils/tray costs
  • Delivery costs
  • Sample menus

All items must be received by Friday, May 22, 2015 to be considered. Please email or mail submissions to:

Crystal Ruiz, PYC Arts & Technology High School

2210 Oliver Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55411                   Email:


PYC Testing Update

PCYC-LogoTesting Update

by David Tarleton
Testing season is now up and running in high gear with lots of mandated tests – especially for the 11th grade students who face the heaviest testing load.

Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments

  •  10th Grade Reading (through May 8th)
  • 11th Grade Math (through May 8th)
  • Science (for all students enrolled in a full year of Biology or completing Biology requirements for graduation)
  • ACT Test (Required of all 11th grade students for graduation)
  •  Tuesday April 28th – here at PYC
  • Makeup day Tuesday, May 12th

Measurements of Academic Progress – All students

  • Math May 4th through May 27th
  • Reading May 4th through May 27th

Please see the testing letter included with the grades for additional information.

Questions? David Tarleton: 612-643-2097


YOU made the 2014 Children’s Christmas Gift Store a huge success!

2014 GS thanks


PCYC celebrates 60 years of serving families in North Minneapolis

PCYC’s 2014 annual meeting on October 31 was a special occasion and the campus buzzed with excitement, pride, and gratitude!  The meeting celebrated PCYC’s 60th birthday where we honored our founders’ legacy and charted a vision for PCYC’s future in North Minneapolis.  The festivities and annual meeting began in the Capri Theater and continued over the lunch reception at PCYC’s main building. 

We thank all who joined us this year.  For those who were unable to attend, we hope you can come to the 2015 annual meeting and we share a few photos from our 60th birthday party here: 

duane etcDuane Swenson, former PCYC board member and staff, with his wife Willamae.  At the Capri Theater entrance is Kim Ellison, Minneapolis Schools Board member.

New ImageKaren Nasby, former PCYC Board member, and David Nasby greet Curt Johnson, former PCYC Executive Director.

Carl G etcCarl Griffin, former staff, Lloyd Jafvert, former Board member, and Shelby Andress, current PCYC Board member.

Anne & WillieAnne Long, PCYC Executive Director, with guest Willie Dominguez.

Ruth JRuth Johnson, wife of former PCYC Executive Director Curt Johnson, with Anne Haugen,  former PCYC Women’s Auxiliary member.

KathleenKathleen Butts, PCYC Associate Executive Director, with Alice Evans, wife of the late Bob Evans, one of the founders of PCYC.

ApprenticesCapri Theater Apprentices (PYC Arts and Technology High School scholars) welcome guests to the 60th PCYC Annual Meeting.

PolzinKaren Polzin, PCYC Board Treasurer and President Elect, presents the financial position. 

 BlongMinneapolis City Council member Blong Yang.

OST staffCatrice O’Neal, Manager of Out-of-School Time programs with staffers Athena Curtis and Vanessa Gill along with Bernadette Christiansen, current PCYC Board member.

james n dennisJames Scott, Capri Theater Interim Director, with Dennis Spears, PCYC Artistic Associate.



Read the 2013-14 PCYC Annual Report here

PCYC is 60 years strong this year!  And we have big plans for increasing our positive impact on the youth and families we work with every day.

A snapshot of our recent financial year that ended in June 2014 is ready for your review here.  Take a look to learn more about how PCYC maintains its excellence and how we are preparing for a brighter future:


Achieve your academic goals at PCYC!

PCYC is proud of our success during the 2013/2014 academic year:

  • 80% of the elementary school scholars in our Out of School Time programs achieved their reading goals. Over 50% exceeded their goals.

  • 77% of the high school scholars at PYC Arts and Technology High School met their academic assessment goals in BOTH reading and math.  PYC has a 70% graduation rate or 68 out of 97 eligible seniors graduated. 

  • 75% of our students received one-on-one support from our Health and Wellness team, and results from the Search Institute Developmental Assets Profile showed scholars improving in the areas of personal, social, family and community connections.

  • 73 % of PYC scholars reported improved school satisfaction after being at PYC for 3 months or more, showing that PYC is “The Place to Be”.

If you would like to find out more about PCYC programs, please call 612-643-2000 to schedule a tour or visit.



Freedom of Xpression Open Mic is on Monday, January 5, 2015

Do you like to spot emerging artists before they hit the big leagues?  Then come join us for an Open Mic session on the first Monday of each month at the Capri Theater.  PCYC’s open mic sessions are aptly named Freedom of Xpression a.k.a. FoX to encourage the performance of all genres from jazz to beatboxing to dance. 

The next FoX is on Monday, January 5, 2015.  Please contact Crystal Ruiz at or 612-643-2045 for information or just show up. 

Freedom of Xpression Open Mic was featured by TC Daily Planet, an online publication.  Click here  to read the published article.  It is also featured below:

Capri Theater’s Open Mic offers a lab for performance talent in North Minneapolis

The young woman sauntered onto the stage, cracked a half smile then pulled the mike almost to her lips.  The lights dimmed, music piped in and the spotlight turned onto her.   The smoky voice that emerged from this girl was surprising as was the melody.  Here on the Capri Theater stage in North Minneapolis, an African American girl was singing a jazz song popularized by Billie Holiday, an American cultural icon of the 1940’-s.  The audience of about 50 young students, teens and middle aged folks hooted and howled encouragement when this aspiring singer ended her rendition.  She glowed with a big smile, waved, and bounded off into the wings. 

This performance is typical of the monthly Open Mic sessions at the Capri Theater (  Held on the first Monday evening, Freedom of Xpression (FOX) provides a free platform for emerging and amateur artists to test and hone their art form.  Anyone who wishes an audience for her creative expressions has five minutes to unleash that talent at Capri’s FOX Open Mic.  Poets, rappers, dancers, singers, musicians have come on stage to get a no-risk and free opportunity to share their craft with a diverse audience.  Any art form is allowed and the range of expressions is wide.   Immediately following a hip-hop poet, a Hmong student played the queej (traditional pan flute) and danced to rousing audience approval at a recent FOX Open Mic. 

Poet Crystal “Azteca” Ruiz has hosted the Capri’s FOX Open Mic since late 2009. This emcee role is a natural outgrowth from Ruiz’s regular job as a student advisor at the alternative high school run by Plymouth Christian Youth Center (PCYC). Hosting the monthly FOX Open Mic also allows Ruiz to publicly share her creative impulses.  Soft-spoken yet firm, Ruiz is passionate about giving young people a chance to develop their talents and test their alter egos on stage.  Ruiz encourages the high school students at PCYC to perform at FOX Open Mic.  She especially reaches out to female students.  Many high schoolers have taken up Ruiz’s offer; some for the first time, but many reprising or honing their earlier FOX Open Mic performances.   

Crystal Ruiz 2013

Since its inception more than five years ago, FOX Open Mic has drawn performers mainly from neighborhoods that surround the Capri Theater.  Many North Minneapolis performance groups have tested and refined their material here.  One such group is the “Why So Serious” hip-hop collective of North Minneapolis.  Collective member, Marquis “Eddiecane” Harris, said performing more than a dozen times at Capri’s FOX Open Mic gave them the exposure they needed.  “Why So Serious” has produced several albums since 2010.  

In this way, Capri Theater’s FOX Open Mic is an incubator for performance talent.  This harkens back to the early 1970’-s when a young performer later known as Prince first performed a concert on the same stage.  Today, FOX Open Mic performers sign up for slots half an hour ahead of the monthly 6 to 8 p.m. event.  Slots are allotted on a first come, first served basis for any art form.  The only restriction is obscene language.  If it is used at all, the Capri Theater’s technical staff cuts off the microphone.  Host Ruiz reminds performers of this rule when they sign up for their five-minute slot. 

Each Capri Theater FOX Open Mic also features 15-minute performances from artists whose art forms are more developed or well-known locally and regionally.  Featured artists have included B Girl Be co-founder Desdamona and R&B singer/songwriter Gabrielle Samone.  Host Crystal Ruiz points out that featured artists give novice performers a sense of the arc of artistic development and helps to inspire the emerging performers to keep perfecting their art forms. 

Ruiz is excited that the October 7 FOX Open Mic will feature PCYC High School senior Daniel Reyes, who grew up in New York.  Reyes will be singing several tunes he wrote while battling homelessness.  Despite his living circumstances, Reyes is optimistic about his future.  This emerging performance artist wants a career as a chiropractor to supplement his passionate pursuits of music and fashion in his free time. To that end, Reyes is focusing on his high school studies while writing songs dedicated to his girlfriend Nicole and trying hard to secure safe and secure shelter.  Reyes’ story is one of many inspirational ones that you’ll experience frequently at Open Mic and PYC. 

Daniel Reyes 2013


Inspired to learn more about the Capri Theater’s Freedom of Xpression Open Mic?   Check out the details at or contact Host Crystal Ruiz at or 612-643-2045.


Enroll Today at PYC Arts & Tech High School

PYC Arts and Technology High School is a friendly and safe community that promotes student achievement. Teachers integrate art and technology into our classrooms to increase student engagement and academic growth in all subject areas. Our social workers will help you find solutions to the challenges that keep you from gaining your credits toward graduation.   

PYC offers hands-on workshops in theater and acting, web design, visual arts, and music and video production. Our staff cares about your success, our artists spark your creativity and our educational technology broadens your horizons.

Students set and achieve goals to prepare for college and their future careers at PYC. You don’t have to be an artist at all.  All you need is to care and take action today for your academic and life success. 

To enroll, stop by the front desk at PCYC at 2210 Oliver Avenue North, or contact Leah Hurley by calling 612-643-2018 or emailing her at: