State House Presentation

By Bella Tasha: Acting Teaching Artist


The formal State House presentation for City Spotlights 2023 was postponed the evening before due to a small electrical fire in the basement of the State House building. This was a huge curveball for staff and teen leaders. As a leadership program, City Spotlights makes an effort to use these moments of difficulty and disruption as opportunities to practice flexibility and adaptability. Teens, who had been prepared for business casual dress, put on this year’s light orange tee-shirts, and walked across the street to the Wang Theatre. While it wasn’t the same, I was truly impressed with how the teens were able to step up and perform even without an audience. Resiliency is a hard-earned skill and, in a way, I am grateful for the curveballs because it is a chance for teen leaders to experience overcoming a challenge individually and as a group. The last run of the presentation was amazing. I love to see the moment when everything comes together, everyone is present, and the energy is alive and crackling. It was really special to see teens who had been shy or reserved give this performance their all. Staff, especially Brenden, couldn’t help but dance along to the group song. Teens shouted him out later to say how helpful his energy was. 


City Spotlights is very close to my heart, and I have been so lucky to work here for five summers. I was incredibly touched when Anthony, a junior assistant, told me how they led a projection exercise that I had taught years prior when they were a teen leader. It is so easy to remember how every summer ends and what a triumphant feeling there is. It’s not so easy to remember all the hard work that comes before. What truly makes this community special is all the hard work by teens, staff, and the community that grows from both challenges and triumphs. 



State House Presentation

By Marcelo Brociner: Music Teaching Artist


Typically, City Spotlights does a presentation at the State House where Teen Leaders engage with elected officials regarding important social issues facing their communities. It serves a crucial turning point building camaraderie amongst the Teen Leaders and a greater sense of both collective and individual confidence. This year though, the State House presentation was canceled the day before it was scheduled to take place due to circumstances beyond the Boch Center’s control. 


In light of the cancellation, this summer’s Teen Leaders have demonstrated an inspiring sense of resilience in preparing for their workshop tours. Despite this summer being many of their first times formally participating in music, dance, or acting, there has been such clear personal and collective growth within each of the specialties both as creators and performers. It was especially awesome to see Teen Leaders providing feedback to and support to one another as they did numerous rehearsals, because that level of engagement undoubtedly elevated the impact of the workshop tours.