TheaterConnect - Dialogue between Kentucky and Massachussetts students on cultural heritage
With Creative Connections, we work and are recruiting high school classes from two very different parts of the USA to take part in a pilot workshop designed to build cultural understanding through theatre, storytelling, and music. Focusing on the exploration of culture heritage, partner classes in the Appalachian region of Eastern Kentucky and their counterparts in New England meet and work together virtually.
Students will explore with partnering students and their teachers the roots of their cultures, how we live their values, and realizing how their perception of another domestic culture is shaped. After sharing personal artifacts, potentially with the inclusion of traditional or culturally important music, showed or performed by each student, we will use tools based in applied theatre and storytelling to explore the objects in our lives we most value, staging scenes about our heritage – its meaning and challenges. Working cross-culturally, this workshop will help students understand one another better, while enhancing cultural competency, dialogue and creative skills, and media literacy.
Theatre for Anti-Racist Allyship (TARA)
"White supremacy won't die until white people see it as a white issue they need to solve, rather than a Black issue they need to empathize with." - Dwayne Reed
TARA was founded in September 2020 following the George Floyd protests by a group of white artists. We realized more work needed to be done by white folks to protect Black lives and fight for an equitable America other than a few hashtags or reading a book. In TARA, we use the medium of theater develop anti-racist skills, unpack white privilege and hidden bias, and practice how to decenter whiteness in support of BIPOC dignity and leadership.
Our group has led online workshops with participants in the US and four other countries. In May 2020, we ran a 40 hour workshop with students and alumni at Principia College where we explored how to foster an anti-racist community.
Communities of Connecting Heritage Grant - Creative Connections & Mandala Theatre
It's important to celebrate our cultural heritage, but what can we do to actively protect and deal critically how we embrace culture?
I was the project manager for Homro Sanskriti: Preserving Cultural Heritage Through Participatory Theatre, a project funded by World Learning where 200 students in Kathmandu, Nepal and southern Connecticut learn about each others' diverse cultures and the challenges surrounding their preservation. We use forum theater, a tool that invites spectators to be "spect-actors" and intervene in the show, to stage issues confronting our cultures and finding critically-aware tools to find alternatives.
Can we change the world by the year 2033?
My sister Abigail and I interview young people from throughout the world who we think will make an impact in their communities, societies, and the world by the year 2033. We talk with folks of many ages working in education, film, humanitarian work, theatre, politics, public arts, microfinance, community activism, and more. We take a special emphasis on asking people to describe what their process is like, especially when the “answers" are not clear, as we especially find during the pandemic.
See more information on our website 2033podcast.com.