Looking for a fun, fresh program to add to your offerings? One that will enhance the writing, reading, and performance skills of participants? One that is co-creative and tied to real-world issues?
Then hire me to offer one of the following programs--
or to develop one that will fill your needs.
I offer experiences in reading, writing, film appreciation, speaking, and performance that can be tailored to meet your needs, desires, and schedule--whether you are looking for a one-time, multi-day, or multi-week program.
ZIP MKE exists to get Milwaukeeans to look at their city more closely and broaden their gaze so we can recognize the beauty of our diversity, no matter what our ZIP Code. Together, through shared experiences and community involvement, we can transcend artificial boundaries and move out of our comfort zones, because knowledge is power and power can move us to change.
We achieve this mission by embracing the ubiquity of the camera and its potential to capture subjects (whether human, natural, or architectural) in powerful ways. We encourage residents to explore their city, both with a sense of pride in the known and eagerness for the unknown. We engage the community, inspire it, and listen to it, bringing individuals from different ZIP Codes to shared experiences like gallery exhibitions; neighborhood walks, runs, and bikes; community conversations; and connecting with youth.
These workshops can be offered for a few hours, a day-long experience, or a multi-day experience (in succession or over the course of several weeks). Let me know what you're looking for!
Ages: Grades 1-12
Requirement/Need: Cameras (whether phone or digital) for each participant, although drawings can be substituted for photographs for younger ages
Zoom In, Zoom Out: Capturing the Little Things That Matter
Participants will focus their attention on small details around them, whether indoors or outdoors, then reflect on why they matter and why it matters to notice the world around us.
Faces & Places: Neighborhood Photo Walks
Participants will walk through a neighborhood, taking note of the people and places and happenings around them, then capturing them on camera to share with the rest of Milwaukee. Photographic skills like composition and lighting will be learned.
You can see an example of what this project looks like through Steps #1-2. It was called OUTSIDE IN / INSIDE OUT: LETTERS TO STRANGERS. During this experience, over 60 seniors at The Prairie School in Racine wrote letters to anonymous peers in the Racine County Juvenile Detention Center. Each letter used words from Jimmy Santiago Baca's poem "Letters Come to Prison." The 15 youth in the ACE Program at the Detention Center were invited to write back to my students, using the same bank of Baca's words. They wrote back to all 60 of my students.
A performance piece based on this anonymous but moving exchange never came to fruition, but I began writing it and made sure to publish the writing online.
A similar iteration of this project was in the works in 2016 and was to involve students at the Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Club in Sherman Park writing MESSAGES TO OUR CITY, inspired by words from James Baldwin's "My Dungeon Shook." Renovations to Mary Ryan halted the project, but I offer it now as a possibility for your organization or cause.
The purpose, subject matter, original source, and performance can be tailored to fit your needs and desires.
Ideally, this series of writing and performance experience needs at least six 2-3 hour sessions, which includes a performance day, to be successful. More sessions are suggested, for revision, synthesis, drafting the performance, rehearsal, etc. Let me know what you're looking for!
Ages: Grades 5-12
Participants receive a bank of words "unwritten," or borrowed, from a famous text (a poem, a speech, a novel excerpt, etc.), but they are not told the original source. They then receive a prompt and are asked to "rewrite," or answer the prompt using as many of the borrowed words as possible (in any written or artistic form of their choosing).
Participants share their writing with each other. Only after all "rewritten" pieces are shared is the original source revealed and read. Participants discuss the original source and consider the differences between how the original author used his or her words and how they did.
Participants collaborate to uncover common threads and themes, patterns and stories, ideas that are in dialogue or argument with each other. They develop a plan to co-create a performance piece utilizing their words and the original author's.
STEP #4 (multi-day)
Students write, revise, rehearse, and perform together.
Students perform for invited guests.