South Africa revisited

artsINSIDEOUT – Johannesburg, South Africa

A team of 18 Volunteer Artists recently wrapped up artsINSIDEOUT2015, which took place from June 28 – July 11 for over 150 kids at Nkosi’s Haven, a residential facility for mothers and their children who are affected by HIV/AIDS. In addition to the traditional visual art, storytelling, music, and dance workshops offered, this two-week arts camp offered an engaging stagecraft class! The program culminated in a final performance at the historic Market Theatre in Johannesburg for the entire community — it was an inspiring evening for everyone who participated. For a chance to see the show, check out the video above!

The single most determinative factor in the lives of the people we work with will be their ability to tell their stories and to believe that their stories matter.

SETTING THE STAGE

BY VICTOR COLON, ASTEP VOLUNTEER ARTIST

My job is to educate through the arts: to model human, share perspectives, and broaden the imagination of our young students.

Through the stagecraft class we implement the set design for the final show that we are creating with the children. In our class each student is granted the freedom to be creative and responsible. We guide them so they can give their best without fear of making mistakes, laugh and learn from them creating beautiful arts expressions.

I get up early in the morning to start to work with the section of kids with the incredible team of kids, aged 5 to 12 years, who have tremendous energy and a huge desire to help in any way they can. The discipline and brotherhood is important in our work, they listen to each other and respect the decisions of their peers, which is a fundamental part of our education. After lunch we work with the next group of young girls and boys between the ages of 13-18 years old. It is WONDERFUL to have this gender diversity because it makes us a unique and special group providing opportunities to all alike, breaking the stereotypes that the only ones working on building scenery and lighting are involved with men.

The creativity and discipline of these students are amazing and I have no doubt at all that our final stage will be a beautiful and artistic collaboration from all of them and for the rest of the majors: music, dance, improv, storytelling and also Mums. Our main interest is that by recycling all materials that we see in our surroundings, we can make big scenes without relying on big budgets and because they simply do art inside and outside of major infrastructure, having less is more. I love art, I love my work as an artist and educator, and this experience lead me to love education. I learn that to be a teacher in the arts you have to be open and involved in the needs of each individual and merge with the group, so we all learn at the same time, so all we educate taking initiatives that refresh our values ??and our knowledge in everyday life. I love being here at Nkosi’s Haven in South Africa helping, sharing and learning with all this unique people, and it seems like I was living here for months. Being a good teacher requires enthusiasm, interest, love, consciousness but especially to be a guide to freedom of knowledge for each of our students.

Thank you to each of the Volunteer Artists who made this entire experience a success! We couldn’t have done it without you:

Alejandro Rodriguez, Alison Green, Ali Stroker, Anastacia Valles, Dumisani Khanyi, Dylan Moore, Evan Todd, JR., Ezra Lowrey, Jawan Jackson, Jennifer Newman, Kobi Libii, Mosoeu Ketlele, Rachel Lynn Haas, Riegerdt Deetlefs, Roelf Daling*, Stompie Selibe, Thembile Tshuma, Víctor Colón, and Yazmany Arboleda.

There should be no dividing line between artistic excellence and social consciousness.

For 59 young artists interested in combing their artistic practice with their pursuit of a better world, ASTEP presented our 2nd annual Artist as Citizen Conference from June 7 – 12, 2015 at The Juilliard School.

At ASTEP, we work with children. We put artists in classrooms around the world to share their passion with kids.

In a larger sense, we’re part of an evolving, nationwide conversation on the role of the artist in society. There are articles published on the subject everyday – the landscape of the arts is changing and so are the opportunities available to artists. Meanwhile, the social emotional skills the arts help to develop are increasingly viewed as essential for success in today’s knowledge-based economy.

The Artist as Citizen Conference is an opportunity for ASTEP to help spread this powerful ideal nationwide — and with it, the remarkable culture of service it represents.

It’s been talked about for years. Innumerable blogs have discussed it. The New York Times recently chimed in. There is a movement afoot. A return to meaning in the arts. A return to impact. As one curator put it, “Marcel Duchamp’s toilet is being returned to the bathroom.”

The Conference is about putting the riches of the first network at the disposal of the second. Its mission is to celebrate, connect, and develop young leaders in the arts by providing them with a transformative artistic and educational experience in the heart of New York City.

Why? Because developing motivated young leaders in communities across America is a way for ASTEP to expand the reach of its mission exponentially.

Which means more kids. Exposed to more art.

Apply to the 2015 Artist as Citizen Conference TODAY!

June 7 – June 12, 2015

at

The Juilliard School, NYC

The Artist as Citizen Conference aims to identify and support young, motivated artists with a demonstrated capacity to take on leadership positions within their communities. Applicants must be between 18 and 25 years old to apply.

The artist’s specific skill-set can be in any discipline–we welcome applications from actors, dancers, writers, visual artists, filmmakers, musicians, designers, administrators, educators, and more.

The application is in three parts — “Basic Info”, “Video Statement” and “Original Work” — each described below and all due by April 22, 2015. You should fill out the Basic Info form first, and then send all supplemental materials to apply@artistascitizen.com

You’ll receive an official response from apply@artistascitizen.com regarding your application no later than May 1, 2015.

Check out the Artist as Citizen Conference website for more testimonials and how to apply!

ASTEP + Kennedy Center

Region 4_Group2w

ASTEP is thrilled to partner for a fourth year with the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), a national theater program involving 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide, to enhance the quality of college theater in the United States. ASTEP will be leading two workshops, “Serving and Leading with ASTEP” and “Owning Your Artistic Identity”, and joining a prestigious panel of judges for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship. (Check out our 2013 experience!)

Presenting at the eight regions are ASTEP’s incomparable: Abby Gerdts, Ali Dachis, Aaron Rossini, and Alejandro Rodriguez

Serving and Leading with ASTEP

Artists Striving to End Poverty (ASTEP) is a New York City based non-profit that provides artists with opportunities to share their passion with underserved kids, in the US and abroad. ASTEP places volunteer artists all over the world and maintains the Future Leaders Network, a support system for young leaders in the arts, which hosts the annual Artist as Citizen Conference at Juilliard each summer and supports the efforts of ASTEP Chapters around the country. Come talk to an official ASTEP representative to find out more about how ASTEP can help you pursue your dreams of changing the world through art.

 

Owning Your Artistic Identity

What are you passionate about? What are you good at? What could the world use more of? Artists Striving to End Poverty (ASTEP) wants to help you locate the perfect intersection between your unique passion and the needs of your community. We’ll veer away from the straight-and-narrow to consider non-traditional career paths, and to help you find what resonates deepest with you in order to use it to shape your life, your art, and the world around you.

 

 

A step towards the Bronx! New after-school program launches Fall 2012

This fall, ASTEP will begin providing after-school creative arts classes to students at Claremont International High School (CLIHS) in the Bronx. Thanks to a strong partnership with Claremont’s Principal, Elizabeth Demchak, ASTEP has been invited to help ensure the school’s first year is a success!

“Principal Demchak believes that an integrated staff that embraces the arts as a fundamental teaching tool are the keys to engaging English Language Learners. She has brought us on board precisely because she recognizes our commitment to empowering teachers and our belief that the arts can set a student’s mind free.” – Mauricio Salgado, Director of Domestic Programs


The mission of Claremont International High School is to build upon the diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds of English Language Learners (ELLs) in New York City and to create an academically stimulating and nurturing learning community that prepares students for success in college and beyond. Students will learn to cultivate intellectual curiosity, advance critical thinking skills, and develop empathy as global citizens through the integration of language and the arts in all classes. Students will complete an internship during their junior year and have the opportunity to participate in College Now courses. The majority of CLIHS students are from Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Ecuador, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Togo.

ASTEP will lead two classes, a visual art and movement class, once a week and both classes will culminate in a performance for the community at the end of the semester. Alejandro Rodriguez, a long time ASTEP Volunteer Artist and newly minted ASTEP Program Coordinator, will be leading the Volunteer Artists in the development of their curriculum. We are very excited for this first semester and will be posting new volunteer opportunities as soon as they arise!

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