Arts for Therapy

S.W.A.G. (Spoken Word Affecting Generations) Program

This Spoken Word curriculum developed to promote the power of youth as change agents who are committed to social justice and equity in today’s society. Using the power of youth voice and advocacy, Encouraging Leaders equips program participants with the resources to advocate for and educate the larger community on issues that matter to them most. Rooted in concepts of critical citizenship, Encouraging Leaders seeks to use innovative learning techniques to promote effective techniques for youth to express themselves using positive mannerisms.  Encouraging Leaders supports young people by offering a safe space for problem-solving and community building. To tackle institutionalized oppression, Encouraging Leaders partners have created impactful digital and traditional media pieces to inform program participants, educational leaders, and community members about important and critical topics that matter the most to them. This is a (4) week workshops where participants will complete the curriculum, create their own pieces of spoken word, and perform them at the Spoken Word Slam. The Spoken Word Slam will be a project that participants and facilitators will come together to plan and organize this event.

Hip-Hop Shop

This 8-week workshop will be a discussion of Hip-Hop material presented in a large group presentation tailored to the program participants.  This supplementary workshop will give participants elements to present in the larger workshop in their classroom.  The facilitator presentation will also show participants how to integrate new technologies and Hip-Hop methods to improve retention of information and to effectively communicate themselves.

Hip Hop is an amazing educational tool.  It combines vocabulary with expression bringing together the heart and the mind into an integrative experience of learning.  By exposing students to a new way of experiencing the information presented in their textbooks, they become involved in the learning process by taking ownership of the information.  This “ownership” is in the form of self-expression through poetry and performance.  Students take the information and “re-present” it in their own context.  Instead of reading history they become the story tellers.  “His-story” becomes “their-story.”

Creative Movement

This workshop offers a creative dance curriculum that incorporates the movement education concepts of facilitators, who will put emphasis on the educational benefits of dance as an aesthetic, social, and communicative form. A problem solving, non-competitive learning approach is used to enhance the students’ awareness of their motor, cognitive, and expressive abilities.

Combining dance technique with the art of expression gives students the necessary tools to express their feelings through movement. Students develop dance skills, through traditional modern and ballet exercises, providing them with a strong foundation in dance technique. They develop creative skills as they are encouraged to explore the different qualities of movement in relation to space, time, force, and flow. As they explore, they become aware of their different body parts and how they can move them, discover new ways of moving, create designs, and express feelings. Yoga postures and stories and relaxation techniques are integrated into the class to connect body, mind, and spirit.

Creative Dance Benefits

  • Gain confidence and a positive self-esteem
  • Learn problem solving skills
  • Make discoveries about themselves, their friends, and the world around them
  • Learn cooperation by working together as a group
  • Learn to respect each other’s unique style
  • Learn spontaneity, leadership, and self-control
  • Develop creativity
  • Gain physical strength, flexibility, and stamina
  • Develop good posture, balance, and coordination through dance exercises and yoga postures
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