Arts Center’s Education Programs for At-Risk Youth

The Arts Center’s Education Program, in partnership with Oak Creek / Oregon Youth Authority, is presenting 6-week workshops for 100 at-risk teens to explore their own life journeys.

The workshops use as a guide the world of myth & story as described in Joseph Campbell’s monomyth or ‘Hero’s Journey,’ narrative pattern. Participants will weave their own personal stories into creative activities to gain insight and perspective. The Hero’s Journey workshops take place March through May of 2012, and culminate in a community performance. National teller, Liz Greene provides teacher training for the workshops.

This latest project with at-risk youth joins two others currently in progress. Since January, the Arts Center’s Education Program has partnered with the Corvallis School District Theater, Corvallis High School (CHS), and the Crescent Valley High School (CV) counseling offices to present theatre workshops for at-risk students at CHS and CV.

As part of the program, visiting teaching artists present one hour workshops for students during the school day. These workshops give students exposure to the performing arts while helping them to develop self esteem and confidence.

A third program, “Shadows and Story,” concludes at the end of March. In partnership with the 509j School District and Chedelin Middle School, this theatrical performance workshop gives 150 at-risk students from Chedelin’s ‘Cougar Academy’ the opportunity to develop original performance pieces based on their own life stories. A resident teaching artist leads the workshop, which has a major focus of helping each student to find their own ‘voice.’ Students will use shadow theater techniques in the workshop finale and perform their stories for their school.

The Arts Center works with over 1,400 children per year who would otherwise not have access to art education opportunities.

Over the course of 12 months, up to 30 different teaching artists  provide workshops for at-risk youth in ceramics, sculpture, drawing, dance, music, poetry, theater, painting, and fiber arts. These workshops have had a substantial impact on underserved youth in our community.

For more information contact Chris Neely, Education Coordinator at 541-754-1551.

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