Coalition of Essential Schools Fall Forum

Last Saturday, a group of BAA students performed for the closing session of the CES Fall Forum in Providence, RI. These students created a unique performance piece combining music, visual arts, spoken word, theatre and digital media. Participants were Althea Bennett (VA), Ashleigh Brown-Fuller (vocal), Gary Gonzalez (theatre), Justin Hynes-Bruell (instrumental), Janibell Santana (theatre) and Daniel Whitelock (instrumental).

Their original interdisciplinary piece, Listen!, wrestles with the tension between the power of the young artist’s voice and adults’ tendency to put it on “mute” in order to fit a prescribed vision of who and how young people should be.  After the performance, students discussed the piece, their creative process and how it reflects their experience at Boston Arts Academy.

Our librarian, Debbie Froggatt, commented in her reflection on the session, “The power of student voice! Honest, thoughtful and commanding… Their artistic piece moved and provoked us to ponder how we are listening to our students. Are we really in conversation with them? Who are their authentic selves and what are their internal struggles?”

Our work is hard, but I always feel energized and inspired when when I see my students come alive through their art… I feel recommitted to making the world WORK better for these talented and thoughtful young voices!

Congratulations to CES on another powerful Fall Forum!

The CES Board: myself, Debbie Meier, Misha Lesley, Jill Davidson, and George Wood (missing: Nancy Gutierrez) giving Jill a gift for serving CES so well for so long as we hired a new director, Elizabeth Jardine

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