Week 2: Storytelling: Rapid Transformation

By: Kelsey Lake, 2017 Jennifer Saltzstein Kaffenberger Fellow

Last week, the newness of RYSA was a lot for everyone to take in! It definitely took some time for everyone to warm up to one another. Many students were shy, others stood out as natural leaders, and everybody was trying to learn so many new names!

As Week 2 comes to a close, I can confidently say that the students of RYSA have moved through that stage! They are boldly stepping into a new phase of more confident exploration and creative risk-taking in the classroom, and this thrilling new energy has led to some beautiful breakthroughs in Storytelling class.

One student’s rapid transformation sticks out clearly in my mind.

Last week, one boy (let’s call him M) came into class and did his very best to hide. He shrunk away from our silly warm ups; if he started raising his hand, he’d catch himself, his hand shooting back down again. Once, when he did speak up, his frustration with finding the English words to express his idea made him hide his head in his hands and back into the corner of the room. Marcus and I could see him following what was going on, and knew he had all sorts of thoughts and feelings about class, but we struggled to find an opportunity that could help him shine.

Then, this past Tuesday, something completely unexpected and delightful happened. Halfway through the class, it was time to “wake up” Sparkles and Spellzy, our puppet friends who have helped us learn so much about the power of imagination.

“How can we wake up and welcome Sparkles and Spellzy?” we asked.

M raised his hand! Marcus and I were thrilled to see he wanted to participate and quickly called on him.

And then, out of NOWHERE, M started to sing. He came up with a fun, short song to help wake Sparkles and Spellzy, belting it out confidently in front of the entire class. It was brilliant! We asked him to teach it to the rest of the class, and it became a fun new way to bring the puppets into the room.

Since then, M’s light has been shining so brightly. He offers creative ideas, gets up in front of his classmates to act out silly skits, and sticks it out when he struggles to find words for what’s going on in that creative mind of his!

Alongside M, we’ve seen many students take their scattered, incredibly high energies and focus them into leadership roles. Other students are taking their English language acquisition to the next level by volunteering to read our stories out loud with growing confidence! It’s incredible to see how quickly these students are learning to trust their own voices and imaginations; they all have such unique, riveting stories to tell, and I can’t wait to hear them.

 

TAKE ACTION this summer to support immigrant + migrant youth

This summer, ASTEP will send two Guest Artists to support Art-in-Action in partnership with enFAMILIA. This 4-week arts summer camp is for elementary and middle school students in South Florida. Primarily coming from low-income, immigrant and migrant families, students at Art-in-Action learn not only the arts, but healthy relationship skills, nutrition basics, stress and anger management, and confidence to be the best possible versions of themselves.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: ASAP
DATES: June 12 – July 15, 2017
(training starts on June 12, camp begins on June 19)
WHERE: Homestead, Florida
WHO: All artists! We need a diverse team!

** Airfare, room and board are provided by ASTEP and enFAMILIA for all Volunteer Artists
** Email Aaron Rossini at aaron@asteponline.org or give us a ring at 212.921.1227 to learn more!

 

 

 

Soak up the Florida sun with Art-in-Action this summer

This summer, ASTEP is sending four Guest Teaching Artists to support Art-in-Action, a 4-week arts camp for elementary and middle school students in South Florida. Primarily coming from low income, immigrant and migrant families, students at Art-in-Action learn not only the arts, but healthy relationship skills, nutrition basics, stress and anger management, and confidence to be the best possible versions of themselves.

Dates: Two options: June 16 – July 2 OR July 2 – July 16
Application deadline: ASAP
Location: Homestead, Florida
Who: Any and all artists are welcome!

** Airfare, room and board is provided by ASTEP and enFAMILIA for all Volunteer Artists
** Email Lizzy Rainer at lizzy@asteponline.org or give us a ring at 212.921.1227 to learn more!

 

Support refugee youth in NYC this summer!

Do you want to create a space for newly resettled refugee youth in your own neighborhood? Are you a teaching artist looking for a summer opportunity here in New York?

ASTEP is once again teaming up with the International Rescue Committee for the Refugee Youth Summer Academy, a 6-week summer camp that focuses on helping refugee youth break down the barriers they face by improving their English language proficiency, social and emotional skills, community ties and confidence——abilities they require to create a new life for themselves in their new home.

Program Dates: 5 July – 12 August 2016 (Orientation: June 29-July 1)
Application deadline: ASAP
Location: Downtown Manhattan, NYC
Who: All artists! We need a diverse team and hope that you are a part of it!

** Email Lizzy Rainer at lizzy@asteponline.org or give us a ring at 212.921.1227 to learn more!

 

Art-in-Action 2015 – Magic: Creer para ver

This year’s Art-in-Action summer camp took place June 15 – July 10 for over 90 immigrant and migrant children living south of Miami. AIA enables these youth to build on their potential and become leaders in their community — as well as have an all-out fun time together!

A team of 9 ASTEP Volunteer Artists collaborated with 8 Local Artists to provide a diverse variety of classes in music, theatre, dance, visual arts, and our newest culinary arts, which not only allowed the students to be creative with food preparation but taught healthy eating habits. In addition, AIA organized a Family Day, inviting parents to participate in programming alongside their children, which equaled lots of laughter and big smiles. The 4-week arts camp culminated in a performance for the entire community with over 150 people attending! This event not only highlighted the student’s work but also helped strengthen the community through creative and celebratory events in a safe space.

Thank you to the incomparable team of Volunteer Artists who made this all possible: Devon Fitol, Raymundo Gutierrez, Cris Akeroyd, Halle Townes, Janilka Serrano, Tiffany Ramos, Aaron Anthon, Allyse Corbin, led by ASTEP’s Director of Programs and Evaluation, Lizzy Rainer

 

 

Last minute recruiting: 1 dancer for the Refugee Youth Summer Academy!

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Do you want to have a life changing experience this summer?

ASTEP is currently recruiting one dancer to join our Volunteer Team to teach at the 6-week Refugee Youth Summer Academy in NYC, presented in collaboration by ASTEP and the International Rescue Committee. Volunteer Teaching Artists will work collaboratively to create and implement a unique curriculum that uses the arts to build English language proficiency and social emotional skills.

  • Volunteers need to be comfortable working with English Language Learners.
  • Volunteers are on-site two days a week, 3 hours a week, from 12PM-3:30PM for 6 weeks.
  • Training takes place June 30 – July 2
  • The program runs from July 6 – August 20

Email Abby Gerdts at abby@asteponline.org to learn more!

+ Want to find out more about our partnership with The IRC?

+ Check out our blog from RYSA 2014!








It’s a wrap — Refugee Youth Summer Academy 2014!

Led by a team of 8 Volunteer Artists, ASTEP delivered the creative arts classes at RYSA for a 5th summer! Classes on visual art, storytelling, dance, and music provided refugee youth with a creative space to develop artistic abilities, strengthen English language skills, build confidence, and transition to their new home.

A big shout-out to the stellar volunteers who help make this all possible: Tracy Einstein (Dance), Noele Flowers (Dance), Lauren Gentry (Theatre), Monica Iancu (Visual Art), Gladys Pasapera (ASTEP Program Facilitator/Visual Art), Heddy Lahmann (Theatre), Vaishali Sinha (Dance), and Callie Tepper (Dance).

 

 

 

Art-in-Action 2014 Camp Blog!

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Hey everyone!

Welcome to our Arts-in-Action 2014 camp blog!

Led by a team of 14 Volunteer Artists, ASTEP and our partner, enFAMILIA, are in the middle of Art-in-Action, a 5-week arts camp that brings a dynamic visual and performing arts experience to over 100 youth from the immigrant and migrant communities of Deep South Miami-Dade. Art-in-Action is all about providing a safe space for high school and middle school youth so they can come together to create, develop artistic skills, and grow personally and emotionally.

Students sign up for a variety of classes, including Music, Drama, Dance, Visual Art, and Musical Theater. A few of the elective classes that were offered featured Screen Printing, Clowning, Poetry, and Breakdancing. Stay tuned for weekly updates full of photos, videos, and testimonials!

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Week 1

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Week 2

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Week 3

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Week 4

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Week 4

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** None of this would be possible without the dedication and talent of our amazing Volunteer Artist Team:

Aaron Anthon (Visual Art), Cessa Betancourt (Dance), Elise Conklin (Music), Laura Estep (Events Coordinator), Devon Fitol (Dance), Allison Gibbons (Dance), Raymundo Gutierrez (Music), Kelcie Miles (Theatre), Tiffany Ramos (Visual Art), Ximena Salgado (Assistant Program Facilitator), Damian Santamaria (Visual Art), Linnell Truchon (Theatre), Blake Wales (Theatre), and Andre Webb (Music).


Also, a BIG thank you to all of our supporters and donors, especially Southwest Airlines, which directly supported the 2014 Art-in-Action Summer Camp!

  Southwest Airlines is proud to be a partner of ASTEP. At Southwest Airlines we strive to make a positive difference in the communities we serve.”


ASTEP has been on an incredible journey

This year, ASTEP set out to highlight the stories of the children we serve worldwide, and we chose a fun and creative way to do it — a music video!

This video  features ASTEP students in Ecuador, India, South Florida and NYC, performing Carole King’s “Where You Lead”, accompanied by the amazing talent of ASTEP Volunteers and Supporters such as Kristin Chenoweth, Jonathan Groff, Debra Monk, Tituss Burgess, and many more!

It captures the children from each of our programs celebrating the transforming power of the arts as they perform Carole King’s “Where You Lead” and clearly demonstrates how art crosses all border and unites us together.

Like the video? Here are six easy ways you can join the ASTEP movement!

  • Share! Spread the word by sharing this video and use #ASTEPsings or @asteponline.
  • Connect! Sign up for our newsletter, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Volunteer! Apply to work with us as a teaching artist.
  • Learn! Bring us to your campus through the College Campaign.
  • Collaborate! Get involved in planning or attending ASTEP events.
  • Support! Help us change the lives of children across the globe through the arts by donating to us.

Thank you for being a part of our journey. Together we can make a difference!

ASTEPsings







Seeking Volunteers for Art-in-Action Summer Camp!

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Are you a visual artist with a heart for changing lives?

ASTEP is currently recruiting 2 visual artists to teach at the Art-In-Action Summer Camp in sunny South Florida. The volunteer teaching artists will work collaboratively with 12 other teaching artists to facilitate a life changing experience for 100 youth from farm-working families.

  • Room, meals and stipend provided
  • Artists must enjoy thinking outside the box, working with others, and warm weather!
  • The program runs from June 7-July 20

Fill out our inquiry form to learn more!

Want to find out more about Art-in-Action and our partnership with enFAMILIA?

Check out our blog from Art-in-Action 2013!









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