This community based residency offers a highly effective approach to engaging neighborhood youth by centering long-term program activities at partner sites. HOBT works with established groups of youth who are participating in partner programming, eliminating recruitment challenges and transportation barriers. By providing art activities free of charge, this residency also removes financial barriers to participation in the arts.
In the Heart of the Beast Theatre’s community-based residency in the Phillips neighborhood will provide an immersive puppet and mask theater experience to economically disadvantaged youth who have limited access to arts programming. The residency serves youth in HOBT’s home neighborhood, reaching a highly diverse population of children through partnerships with Waite House, Little Earth and Project for Collaborative Village.
Objectives of this project are to:
- Deliver high quality arts programming, designed and taught by professional artists, to economically disadvantaged youth at Phillips community sites that do not have such programming.
- Foster creative expression and extend arts learning opportunities through hands-on puppet and mask arts activities.
- Strengthen long-term neighborhood partnerships, based in puppetry and arts education, with community organizations that serve disadvantaged and diverse youth and families.
- Create opportunities for dialogue among youth, fostering communication and an appreciation for their diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
- Celebrate the creative accomplishments of participating youth through a culminating performance event.
Youth at the sites with participate in parallel themes through site-specific art projects that focus on the expression of cultural identities and creation of dialogue with the people and places in the Phillips neighborhood. The artists will conduct workshop sessions for three hours per week during a 24-week period. During this period, youth involved will study the history of the neighborhood’s physical and social landscape and the people who have lived there, led by local historians, naturalists, community members and teaching artists. Youth participants will also observe and collect stories from the present day communities, families and individuals living in Phillips. They will use the stories to explore the cultural and physical landscape, history, and sense of place in their neighborhood. They will express the history of the place through the mediums of hand puppetry, photography, video, shadow puppetry, masks, music and spoken word poetry. All sites will share the artistic processes and products of their projects through inter-site field trips and a culminating public event called the Phillips Community Youth Story Swap.