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Cultivating Dialogue Taking City Spotlights to the Community

Posted 8 August 2017 12:00 AM by Tessa Bry Taylor

Over the past week, the City Spotlights Teen Leaders brought their originally created workshops and performance pieces out to the Boston community, touring to over 25 different community centers, libraries, and other locations where young people spend their summers. It is such an amazing experience to witness the teens finally bring all of their hard work and careful planning to light with youth of various ages around Boston. Engaging in dialogue around topics such as ableism, racism, sexism, and classism is challenging with any age, but even more so with those as young as 5 and the teen leaders executed their tour week with grace and responsibility.

Starting with the foundation of their topic points (ableism, racism, sexism, & classism), the teens spent three weeks building interactive workshops that included their original performance pieces. These workshops varied in content and structure within the four touring groups, but each contained similar elements: engaging games and activities with unpacking questions, leading questions for discussions, performance pieces about their topic, and post-performance games. The purpose of the workshops is to not only bring the teens hard work out in the community, but to cultivate dialogue with community youth about the topics at hand. While of course we here at City Spotlights can engage in conversations about issues that matter to us amongst ourselves, the real challenge lies in translating those conversations outside the walls of the theater. Workshop Tour Week is the teens opportunity to both share their talent and hard work through their workshops and performances and engage in the much needed dialogue necessary to advancing the conversation towards real change. The teens executed this week beautifully, and brought back to the Shubert many new ideas, impressions, and thoughts from the multitude of young people whose lives they inevitably touched. Well done group!

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