Art for All Developing Workshops that Inspire Conversation

Posted 20 July 2016 12:00 AM by Tessa Bry Taylor

Over the past few weeks, the City Spotlights teens have been working in small groups, creating workshops that will soon be taken out into the community. Focusing on this year’s selected theme, “American Dream/ American Nightmare”, the workshops will ideally serve as a catalyst for conversation regarding the potentials and obstacles that exist within each individual’s version of the American Dream.

This has been my first opportunity working on a project of this nature with teens, and overall I must say I am very impressed with their ability to bring together various ideas and prepare them for sharing with their peers. Heading out into the community to discuss a topic as dense and complex as the American Dream is a challenge for any individual, no matter how comfortable they may be with the conversation, and this group of teens has stepped up to the plate with full force!

While half the groups are preparing to work with 5 - 10 year olds, the other half are preparing to work with peers their own age, which provides the teens an opportunity to debate the finer details of facilitating a workshop with a wide range of ages. Like any situation that involves the leadership of people through activities and discussion, the teens have been honing in on critical aspects such as planning and preparation, engagement and enrichment, cooperation and collaboration, and perhaps above all, flexibility!

It takes a bold soul to march out into the community and serve as a teacher, leader, facilitator and peer all in the span of one hour, and each of these teens has risen to the challenge in a manner most impressive to see. I am proud to bear witness to the creative process they are undergoing in preparation for the week on tour around Boston, and am eager to hear what type of excitement and critical thinking the teens are able to cultivate from the youth they will encounter throughout their workshop journey!

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