From Creativity to Social Change: The Power of the Arts and Curbing Apathy in Youth

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The apathy of American youth is all too real and prevalent in society and the arts more then any other area of education has the power to help students find their voice in the local, national, and global communities. Whether through dance, creative writing, theatrical performance, or art exhibitions students can learn to tap into their inner creativity to make a change in society. Research suggests that using the arts as a vehicle for social change can create a lasting and meaningful experience for youth. The focus of this workshop will on the tools art educators can use to help students look beyond their classroom and into the larger community to create social change. Focus will be given to Service Learning with an emphasis in the Arts in helping students rethink their pre-conceived ideas of community service and move to deeper more meaningful experiences with the arts that elicit social change. Specific techniques for the individual areas of art, theatre, music, and dance will be addressed.

Keywords: Arts, Youth, Social Change
Stream: Creative Arts and Learning
Presentation Type: Workshop Presentation in English
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Amber Hutchison Hutchison

Teacher, English/Language Arts, Salem High School
Boston, MA, USA

Amber will be Spring 08 graduate of Emerson College with an MA in Community and Theatre. While at Emerson she worked extensively in the area of Theatre for Social Change with a special focus on youth. She is also an educator at Salem High School in Salem, MA. She has spent six years teaching English and Theatre in Massachusetts and Texas, working with students from very diverse backgrounds. As a theatre teacher, she worked with students to create original work that focused on specific social issues within the community. Her award winning production of Margaret Edson’s Wit was performed in conjunction with panel discussions led by leading researchers in the field of ovarian cancer.

Ref: L08P0200