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2019 What's Right with the Region – Fostering Creativity for Social Change

2019 What's Right with the Region - Fostering Creativity for Social Change

khoka is a multidisciplinary community art center essentially we are a hub for learning in the arts for all ages all skill levels all backgrounds we serve 220 different zip codes of people coming from all over the region to work to play to learn together to come to understand our differences it really helps unify us and in doing so it really build a stronger community we have a very equitable and accessible model here we want to make sure that the arts are available for anyone who wants to participate so we provide a range of support services which include financial aid transportation daily dance wear tutoring all sorts of support to make sure that kids succeed on their own terms and we can level the playing field that when they come into the classroom or the studio they're set up for success I'm inspired by the community of learners of risk-takers of people who are coming together to build themselves personally as well as to come together as a region to utilize the arts for a means to build community we call ourselves the bad boy of musical theater because your line produces shows that are about important issues sometimes we treat them in a serious way sometimes in a humorous way but everything we do is about social political issues we work with a lot of younger actors and and I think we're kind of teaching them not the skills you need to be a commercial actor but kind of the joy and love of theater and its possibilities and what it can be I think what's different about new line from other companies is that when you come in you're gonna be confronted with things to think about and you know people often come up to me in the lobby after show or whatever and they tell me how some show from two years ago or six years ago or 12 years ago made such an impact on them and they still think about it that's the legacy that's the legacy to stay in people's heads to perk for those issues and those ideas to stay swimming around in there so that they can understand them better and maybe act on them perennial is a nonprofit that teaches people how to create new things out of old stuff so we have a mission to build a creative culture of sustainability where discarded goods are transformed into valued and cherished resources we offer classes to the public that range from building furniture from pallets to natural textile dine to hemming amending clothing and we also provide free programs to women in transition so we've partnered with social service agencies that work with former prisoners survivors of domestic violence homeless women and bring them free programs to teach them to live sustainably and resourcefully in 2018 we engaged close to 9,000 people in our programs and diverted over 9,000 pounds from the landfill directly through those activities perennials approach was really unique because it combines creativity the creative process and the arts with a social mission so we teach people how to create and make things themselves out of salvaged materials and our classes bring an element of fun and excitement to creating positive social change Shakespeare Festival's st. Louis is dedicated to using the works of Shakespeare as a model for how to engage with creatively with a community we produce works in forest park we produce tours to schools all over the region and we have our Shakespeare in the streets program that engages with neighborhoods to tell their stories we believe that art should be available to anyone regardless of economic circumstance watching a character up on stage feeling what they're feeling experiencing what they're experiencing is what the exchange is all about and bringing it into a live scenario where people are actually they're laughing at the same time crying at the same time holding their breath at the same time connects people not only with the imaginary characters on stage but with everyone else in the audience with them one of the reasons why we're so honored to receive this award is because engaging with the region is a really high priority for us the festival finding ways to connect those places that may feel separate is something that really really matters to us it's amazing to get this recognition and share what we've been doing with the region and to be recognized among all the other incredible organizations is a real honor and this is a really nice endorsement of our effort to make a difference in the community and to do shows that make a difference in people's lives it tells us we're on the right track and to keep moving forward in this direction you

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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