One of my missions in life has always been to promote creativity in any way I can and to give a voice to the voiceless when the opportunity arises. This summer, just such an opportunity will be happening right here in Central Massachusetts.
In July, a phenomenal dance group called PUSH Physical Theater, from Rochester, NY will spend three weeks here at our campus, developing a new performance piece with at-risk teens from the area. This is a "first of its kind" residency that I sincerely hope will become an annual event, providing a forum for local youth to tell their stories through dance.
What We Need & What You Get
In order to pull off this feat, we need to raise $12,000 to provide food, lodging, and stipends to the company as well as scholarships for the kids involved.
Being that this is an experiential project and not focused on creating a tangible product like a book or CD, contributors can expect to get frequent updates, rehearsal diaries, and scenes from the final performance. Higher level contributors will also receive tickets to the final performance in Hardwick, MA.
During my time in this rural and economically challenged area, I've had the opportunity to connect with some of our local kids through our Youth Center. In listening to their stories, one thing is abundantly clear...they have very few opportunities for creativity or self-expression. They also have a generally dim view of the future. They are not aware of the possibilities that a creative life has to offer and have never had the luxury of studying art, music, or dance, outside of their overcrowded and underfunded classrooms.
This residency will, on a small scale, provide the opportunity to experience what it's like to create something as a team and to simultaneously express oneself through a particular type of physical storytelling. Through trust, partnering, and commitment to the process, students will emerge with a new sense of worth and possibility by the end of the project...and who could ask for more?
Other Ways You Can Help
If you are unable to contribute monetarily, please consider passing this page around to your friends and acquaintances through facebook, twitter, or any other outlets you see fit. Thank you for any help!