One Crew Baltimore: Building Relationships and Community in Our Classrooms
A post from Young Audiences Executive Director, Stacie Sanders Evans
Today, we visited one of our Summer Arts and Learning Academy sites at William Pinderhughes Elementary Middle School. The first classroom we entered had this statement on the board:
Every morning at 9 a.m., a teacher, an artist and their students gather in a small “Crew” as part of Young Audiences’ commitment to helping children build relationships and community with one another and their teachers. It is called Crew because it is based on the belief that we are not just passengers on this “ship,” but we are “crew” members playing a role in where we go and how we get there. Crew gives our kids and teachers an opportunity to talk, to listen, and to connect as people.
The violence happening in our city and other cities is not going unnoticed by our children.
At our Academy, we strive to give our children the tools they need to express themselves, push for what they believe in, and build the communities they envision. We believe arts integration helps continue that process.
Young Audiences is not a political organization, so it feels inappropriate for me to make statements on behalf of Young Audiences about our City’s and nation’s current struggles. However, I will say this:
We are committed to creating safe places for children to reflect, to express themselves, to learn and to grow as people (artistically, academically, socially, and emotionally) through the arts.
Our Academy artists and their teacher partners are providing safe and nurturing places for some of our most vulnerable children to imagine, to create and to realize their full potential.
The posts we have been sharing on Facebook about our work have been inspiring others to reach out with words of encouragement. From one commenter:
“In a time when our society seems to be crumbling before our eyes, the hope and joy created by YA cannot be overstated. Everyone at Young Audiences should be incredibly proud of being beacons of light to so many children in our community.”
There are so many ways that you can be more than a passenger in this city — you can be a part of a “crew” to provide transformative learning opportunities for our young people.
If you would like to learn more about our Summer Arts and Learning Academies, the artists involved, or where the academies are located, please contact Lisa Fritsch at [email protected] or register to attend a one-hour tour of our offices and mission (what we call our On the Bright Side Tour) this Thursday, July 21 at 5:30 p.m.
Young Audiences’ Summer Arts and Learning Academy is funded by Baltimore City Public Schools, The Abell Foundation, The Family League of Baltimore with the support of the Mayor and the City Council of Baltimore, The Alvin and Fanny B. Thalheimer Foundation and individual contributions to Young Audiences. All participants are students at a Title I Baltimore City Public School.