Berkshire Pulse's Young Choreographers Initiative needs your help to share a powerful message at the National Young Artists Summit in November!
Five teen students from the Young Choreographers Initiative (YCI) at Berkshire Pulse have been invited by the Creative Youth Development National Partnership to present an original dance piece on sexual assault at the National Young Artists Summit in Austin, Texas on Saturday, November 2 and they need your help to get there.
YCI is an empowering project for high school age dancers that builds confidence, inspires collaboration, encourages creativity and fosters free expression. Launched in 2016 with workshops led by teaching artists Susan Quinn and Ian Spencer Bell, it has since expanded into a year-round program. The YCI is supported in part by a grant from the Youth Reach program of the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Last fall, YCI Director Susan Quinn worked with students to explore the connection between movement and social activism. Together, the young artists chose sexual assault as the issue on which they wanted to focus. The students researched the topic and shared their findings. This led to discussion and journaling about what consent is, how survivors are often blamed or not believed, and brainstorming how to prevent sexual assault. The movement invention and structure of the piece was generated from these discussions, their feelings, and their writing.
Now, out of thousands of applications from young people across the country to perform at the Summit, the YCI was one of ten groups chosen!
The full-day Summit is an annual event entirely designed and led by young people. It provides an opportunity for young artists age 13 – 20 in a range of artistic disciplines from across the county to connect, create, and celebrate together. The five dancer/choreographers – Cecilia Kittross, Paige Lussier, Rubielle Nejaime, Pearl Wright, and Stella Wright – will travel to Austin, along with chaperones Quinn and Board Chair Diane Pearlman, where they will perform their piece and speak about its creation and the importance of art and activism in today’s world.
Please contribute what you can so these young people can take advantage of this exciting opportunity.
How Your Contribution Will Help
As a nonprofit education center for the creative arts, Berkshire Pulse relies on community donations to support its programs and services. Your generosity will make it possible for the Young Choreographers Initiative to deliver their powerful message to a wider audience and allow these young artists to connect with and experience other young artists/activists from across the nation.
Your contribution will be used directly on the costs associated with the trip, including:
•Transportation •Food •Housing
Other Ways You Can Help
An open rehearsal and reception fundraiser will take place on Saturday, October 19 at 3:00 p.m. at Berkshire Pulse’s studios at 420 Park Street in Housatonic. At this event, you can catch a sneak preview of the piece and meet the young choreographers.
If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.