Knowledge Power Art
Art Starts has been working with the Glendower community for the last seven years in a collaborative effort to empower local residents. With many successes in that time including forming a resident lead arts council, a multi-year public art mosaic project and enabling a dance crew who applied for and received funding to run their own youth-led program. Though the road has not always been a smooth one, every win and loss has taught us many lessons that will serve Art Starts and our communities in continuing to facilitate effective, collaborative and culturally sensitive experiences for local residents.
Most recently at Glendower Art Starts has been engaging local youth with Knowledge, Power, Art!, an after school program that fuses art and academics to addresses issues of literacy. Through a fun and engaging process of mentorship and research the kids and youth work with facilitators Yafet Tewelde (researcher & community developer) and Nicole Brooks (actor, playwright, producer & vocalist) to write and perform original monologues based on cultural or historical figures. The monologues are addressing a range of issues but center around the idea of race in society. The culmination of their work will be a collaborative performance piece they will present at a celebration showcase in June.
Art Starts Program Director Katherine Earl and Glendower Program Manager Amina Alfred have both noticed the mature, thoughtful and articulate youth that the program is nurturing. Youth in the community are beginning to invest in the program in wonderful ways that are building their confidence and allowing them to communicate and express powerfully and effectively while touching on culturally sensitive issues. As the program grows in attendance and the kids and youth are eager to continue. We can’t help but be excited about the new leaders that will emerge from this program and look forward to watching their final performances in June!