Liberty, April Vacation Arts & Leadership Training Teaching Artist
The week of April 15th stands out in my mind for more reasons than one. While fear and adversity could be two words that some may use to describe that time, words that come to my mind are hope, promise and strength.
Let me fill you in. On Tuesday, April 16th I got the chance to begin work with present and future stars. As Boston asked questions and wondered why, the Teen Leadership Council of the City Spotlights program came together to plan a future where mutual respect, team work and leadership potential fulfilled will be the norms. From various high schools and backgrounds with diverse artistic talents and capabilities, the teen council is made up of tomorrow's leaders.
Throughout the week we worked to not only develop our individual leadership skills, but to also plan how we can create a culture where other teens are invited to become leaders who are free to be their whole and true beautiful selves. These young women and men stepped into leadership as a team to decide what kind of culture they want to be apart of this summer during the City Spotlights Leadership Program, beginning in July. We set an agenda and honed our facilitation skills in hopes that we could foster an environment where art and leadership can come together. Time will tell if we achieve success. As of today the council is anti-bullying and negativity and pro love, creativity and unity.
Thank you to Citi Performing Arts Center for making the summer program (and jobs!) possible. Boston has proved to be strong yesterday and today. The Teen Leadership Council leaves no doubt in my mind that Boston will be even stronger and more peaceful when they're in charge tomorrow. They inspire me to create. They can inspire us all to be the change in the world that we seek.
Kelly Prestel, Emerson Graduate Intern & Citi Center Teaching Artist
There is always magic in the air when we head to PJ Kennedy Elementary in East Boston. Every time Toni Bee and I enter Ms. Grant-Carter’s second grade classroom, we can feel the excitement bubbling. It’s time to create!
We’ve been with our students in Ms. Grant-Carter’s class for many weeks now. Each week, we guide them through new theatre and poetry skills to prepare for our final performance. I’m not sure I’ve ever taught a class with a universal eagerness to perform. This week, the students wrote and performed short scenes inspired by moments in Peter Pan. After each scene, I coached the students’ performances, and asked them to perform again. Even after performing each scene two times, I still had students asking if they could perform their scenes a THIRD time! I wish we did have time for third and fourth and fifth performances! It never gets old to watch young performers come to life on stage.
At the end of each class, we brew an imaginary magic potion, filled with all the things we learned that day. To give the potion some extra zest, I often ask the students to say one thing they are proud that they did that day during class. Sometimes, they are proud of a new word they learned; other times, they are proud that they worked well together. To close this post, I’d like to add something I’m proud of to my magic potion: I am incredibly proud of each of my students and their ability to create and share with such bravery and panache.