In 2008, a group of six dancers from The Juilliard School journeyed to the Philippines for four weeks, performing, teaching in schools, and creating new pieces with students in several different communities. Project Philippines returned in 2012, adding music and visual arts to the programming and in 2014, began a collaboration with ASTEP. A team of 8 Volunteer Artists are currently on the ground for five weeks and will serve communities on two separate islands and teach at four different schools: Catarman National High School, Philippine High School for the Arts, Cultural Center of the Philippines Dance School, and University of the Philippines Los Baños.
Through contemporary dance and improvisation, students engage in workshops to express themselves through movement.
“Dance has enabled me to be disciplined and focused today … I can communicate better with others and am a better person because of dance.” – Student, Project Philippines 2012
Through a variety of music workshops, students concentrate on different techniques and individual training through private lessons, master classes, a cross cultural-exchange, and performance technique.
Visual arts focus on journals and a large community project specific to each site. Everyday the students are asked to reflect and draw about their day. Visual arts incorporates self portraits, line contour drawing, painting and set design. Understanding that some students communicate best through the visual art form, these projects allow students to become more confident in their individual talents and connect to their peers through a collaborative art project.
“You could see it in their faces, writing, and drawing, that this freedom of expression was bringing a flow and light into their lives. Whether they were a part of a family or community or group of friends, they were coming closer together with smiles and laughter and encouragement.”
-Tighe Kellner, Volunteer Artist | Project Philippines 2012
Drama is incorporated in every art class through theater games and exercises. By focusing on performance, improvisation, and vocal training, drama supports each student on their journey to the stage. The training also uplifts each student in their self confidence, individual voice and community building skills off the stage.
Thank you to the 2014 Volunteer Artist Team! Chelsea Ainsworth, Kyle Netzeband, Tyner Dumortier, Allison Gibbons, Blake Wales, Brian Gnojek, Midori Samson, and Francesca Betancourt — you help make it happen!