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EarSay's Youth Arts and Activism workshops include a theatre workshop with professional training for immigrant, refugee and displaced teenagers called Transforming Trauma Into Art and a writing and dialogue workshop called Cross-Cultural Dialogue Through the Arts. The programs develop and create collaborations between disparate communities. Conceived and directed by Judith Sloan the training and mentorship program for high school students brings guest professional artists to work with kids. The program also offers internships for college students, offering unique hands-on opportunities for graduate and undergraduate college students to work in teams as mentors and performance collaborators with new immigrant teenagers through a multi-media arts and theatre project in partnership with the International High School at LaGuardia Community College. Students from 50 different countries, speaking almost as many languages and dialects, populate the international high school. A sister project to Crossing the BLVD, EarSay's Arts and Activism workshops are currently available to all New York City area college students to participate as interns. Students in the theatre, dialogue and writing classes have an opportunity to perform in EarSay's public performances. In addition to credit, college student interns receive training in theatre, writing, ethics and oral history, community organizing, interviewing techniques, performance and documentary art. High School students benefit from the mentorship process, developing their language and writing skills, co-creating and participating in live performances. This unique collaboration across cultures also gives immigrant teenagers exposure to the world of higher education which is often closed to them. Theatre exercises in improvisation, characterization, humor, storytelling, and conflict resolution are used to develop monologues and scenes. All participants form creative teams to produce and document the final performances and public dialogues. Sustaining teaching artists include Judith Sloan, and filmmaker Robert Winn. Teaching artist Catherin Hanna has joined the team in the fall of 2012. Participating artists have included Laura Doggett, Jen Bleier, hip hop artists and educators Chenits Pettigrew (CHEN LO), Kahlil Almustafa, Ken White (drummer/percussionist), and students from NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Visiting artists have included Immortal Technique and Hasan Salaam.
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