April 20, 2016
How would you describe your overall experience with Art Place?
My Art Place experience was very inspiring and uplifting as an artist-educator; I was in the presence of young people from different backgrounds, most of them never took any music or dance training but were passionate about performing. As much as they have learnt from me, I have been inspired by all of them.
What are some of the most significant things you’ve learned through out your project?
Throughout the entire project, I have learned that no matter where you come from or no matter how you’ve been raised music brings people together and fosters peace and happiness. Art is truly a powerful tool to promote to good values for a healthy community. My role of as an artist-educator has also been instrumental in promoting the respect of human dignity and tolerance across cultures.
How was your project a success?
My project was a success in many levels:
We started in late October 2015 with 5 performances in total (2 performances on December 13, 2015, 2 performances on March 27th, 2016, 1 performance at Gallery 101 on April 2) that were greatly appreciated by each audience.
The project was supposed to end in late February but we are still running it now and most young people want to continue
The cause and the involvement of the community in this project has truly been noticed and been encouraged all around me and in young people’s lives.
What do you intend for audiences to see, experience, and think about when learning about your project?
I hope they can capture the vision and the original intent of this project, which is in essence an attempt to bridge the community and the world of arts. In performances, I intend to demonstrate the joy of being together and the will of making a difference in the community no matter our race, culture and beliefs.
In what ways did or will the community benefit from your project?
The community will benefit from this project by raising awareness on music, dance and poetry as a valid form of art; the community will know that classes are been offered on those subjects and that it’s possible to express oneself.
In your opinion, what did the participants learn from the project?
The participants from my project have learned tools to equip themselves with a better singing and dancing performance. They have also being exposed to the poetry in the songs so I think they will use a few new writing techniques when they decide to write their own songs and perform them in public.
Do you have anything else you would like to share about your project or the program?
This project was not only inspirational for the participant but also for me as an artist educator and I will recommend any artist who has at heart to share their gift to aspiring young people because it’s a rewarding experience. I believe the cohesiveness of the group has grown over the weeks and all participants were always eager to meet again workshops after workshops.
For more on Abel Maxwell’s Art Place Residency.