Youth Organizations and Social Artists are Alive and Well in Washington DC
Last weekend Nadia Chaney and I led a Creative Facilitation Training in Takoma Park, Maryland (right next to Washington DC). Once again I was reminded of the rich tapestry of people that are working for good in our world. 25 artists, college students, teachers, youth workers and social entrepreneurs attended from a wide range of service and social enterprise organizations. The age of participants spanned six decades.
Here’s a look at just a few of the youth organizations who were represented:
- Machik, a group that runs a 6-week camp for youth in Tibet each summer
- the Gandhi Brigade, a social justice-based youth organization;
- the Star Child Relief Organization, a program that runs a camp in Romania each summer for children living with hemophilia
- Groove Camp, a musical day camp for teens
- the Latina American Youth Center, a multi-cultural, multi service agency
- Class Acts, an organization dedicated to getting arts and music in schools
- the Interfaith Families Project that serves families from mixed Jewish and Christian traditions
Social enterprise groups included:
- Time Bank, a national alternative currency program based on the fair exchange of time and talent
- Achieving Change Together, a group that helps social entrepreneurs with strategy and messaging
- Blessed Coffee, a community-based business that sells coffee imported from an Ethiopian coffee cooperative
A huge thanks to social artists Larry Ravitz and Marika Partridge who sponsored the training and to Marika for doing the organizing. A director of the National Public Radio Show ‘All Things Considered’ for 15 years, Marika is now spearheading an effort to open a community radio station in Takoma Park, Maryland.
Spending two days with this sparkly group reminded me of how powerful the arts are in helping us bridge divides of ethnicity, class and age; helping us to generate joy and motivate people to band together to work for positive change in their communities.
Marika and Larry have already put out a call to all of the local participants to gather for a potluck dinner to explore ways to collaborate and I can’t wait to reconnect with this special group of social artists and youth organizations again.
by Peggy Taylor (Director of Training and Co-Founder of PYE)