Youth & School Programs.
For fifteen years I've facilitated across a broad spectrum of youth programs and schools, holding a special expertise with grades 9-12. In public school classrooms I have collaborated with history and ELA teachers in using arts to ignite student imagination and investment in classroom subjects. My favorite settings, however, whether in school or community -based organizations, are workshop lab environments that spark students to dive deeply into their own boundless creativity.
In recent years I have most often facilitated in-school electives that center the craft of creative writing, while underscoring its ability to support socio-emotional growth, build community, engage social issues and develop personal voice. I value the possibilities hybrid models offer, and often use my background in visual arts to combine art-forms in the classroom. I've taught poetry, nonfiction, performance, zine-making, photography, video, multidisciplinary socially engaged art, collage/visual arts, graphic design.
Scroll for a very small sampling of many projects created with students over the years.
WRITER IN RESIDENCE
For 14 years, Bronx Academy of Letters has hosted a vibrant Writer in Residence program, launched by Willie Perdomo and carried for many years by Elana Bell and Samantha Thornhill. Under my direction for the past three years, our program underscores the importance of literacy and writing, leveraging the expertise of working authors to bring an authentic contemporary writing experience to all students. Through elective classes, students sparked by writing dive deep in the art forms of poetry and nonfiction, creating The Raven and One Pen, student-driven magazine and literary journal publications. All students are served by our Writers Forum, which brings professional authors five times per year for rich assembly experiences.
Choosing to Participate PROGRAM
2010-2012, I visioned and implemented three years of Choosing To Participate, a multimedia senior project course developed and led at the Facing History School. All high school seniors, whether artist-identified or not, were challenged with transforming their first semester 10 page humanities paper on a social issue of their choosing into a large scale art project.
Using a highly scaffolded process of research, proposal writing, peer feedback and presentation models, students defined and determined what artform and expression best communicated their social concerns. Final projects were displayed in an open to the public art show, and students were tasked with inviting the audiences to take part in making a step towards change, whether through an interactive component of their work, or an accompanying petition, take away know-your-rights pocket pamphlets and other activist engagements.
Photography & Poetry
- New Design High School Self Portraits.
Selection of 7 student images won first prize in the Adobe Aspire Awards, 2012.
- Rebellion & Reconciliation Posters.
Facing History High School ELA Arts Integration.
Circa 2011, at the Facing History School in Manhattan, 10th grade students in the Rebellion and Reconciliation Art Integration created visual art projects based on themes they are studying in English class. Guided by concepts displayed in Animal Farm by George Orwell and Shakespeare’s MacBeth, students connected methods of claiming power with the tactics of traditional propaganda art and co-opted them to create social justice posters on issues they identify with.