Hello KID CITY Friends!
I feel like it has been so long since I last spoke with you all...
KID CITY has been so busy this spring, particularly with our in school residencies!
As I write, we have our wonderful teaching artist at Weaver Elementary doing some Laugh Labs in Maplewood. But you'll hear more about that soon!
Today I am here to share with you all KID CITY's residency with John Glenn Middle School!
This past April, KID CITY had the opportunity to work with students from John Glenn and their after school TOPS program.
If you're not sure what TOPS is, or if you're interested in learning more about John Glenn, click HERE to read my last blog post about this partnership.
Our KID CITY artist team worked with John Glenn students for 2 different programs.
1) Brainstorm Theater and
2) KID CITY COUNCIL
Over 5-6 weeks, students spent their Tuesdays and Thursday's after school with our teaching artists.
Both programs were very different, but our hopes were to inspire these young leaders to use arts for civic engagement. Watch the video below to learn more about Brainstorm Theater and the process we went through to do this! (To learn more about this partnership, visit my past blog here)
Each student brought their very own perspectives and experiences. From the very first day, I knew that this was going to be a great group of leaders, who were not afraid to have difficult conversations about the issues and barriers in their lives.
At the end of the process, the students from Brainstorm Theater were able to host a forum with their peers about some of the issues they had previously identified and rehearsed.
The forum itself is is a large part of what makes Brainstorm Theater so special! I wanted to give the forum it's own blog, so stay tuned for next week's blog where I go into depth about the FORUM! :)
Moving on from Brainstorm Theater, our 2nd program was KID CITY COUNCIL. Here, student's were given a challenge to create a way to bring people of Maplewood together through art. In the end, they had to create a short puppet show using Toy Theaters to describe the problem and proposed solutions.
But first, we had to find out what barriers exist in our communities that keep us apart. There were conversations of technology, geography, race, culture and even not having enough free community events.
Watch the videos below to see how KID CITY COUNCIL addresses these issues with their Toy Theaters.
It was great to see how both groups took on this challenge and came up with so many different solutions.
Not only that, I thoroughly enjoyed the use of color, music and puppetry that truly brought these Toy Theaters to life! All in all, we at KID CITY believe that it is extremely important to empower the youth in our community to engage in a dialogue and find creative solutions to real world problems. (To see more example of Toy Theaters, visit my past blog here!)
Just like we say in our mission statement:
KID CITY empowers Maplewood through the power of playfulness and public art across age, class and culture, putting youth at the forefront of creative community revitalization.
With every event, workshop or residency we host, YOU, THE COMMUNITY MEMBERS, are at the heart of everything we do. So thank you for coming on this journey with us! From everyone at KID CITY. We were so honored to build this partnership with John Glenn Middle School. It would not have been possible without them hosting us in their beautiful school. Cheers for an ever growing friendship between KID CITY, John Glenn Middle School AND the City of Maplewood.
Till next week!