|Time Capsules - Arts Lab: Better Boys Foundation|
Impressive Teens - Leading the Way
I recently had some eye opening site visits with Better Boys Foundation and Free Write Jail Arts. Once again I find myself humbled by the experience. I can't begin to express how exciting it has been to watch these students, create, evaluate and collaborate. Many times during my visit I would think about the phrase "At Risk". I use it all the time to describe the student demographic of the organizations in the Arts Infusion cohort. I use it all the time and it has always bothered me. Using the term "at risk" has a strong intuitive meaning and I wonder if by using this phrase am I actually applying a label that de-humanizes, underestimates and devalues the capabilities of your teens?
One could argue that all youth regardless of gender, race, community and family are at risk of engaging in dangerous behavior, dropping out of school, or becoming a teen parent. If this is true why does “At Risk” become the leading descriptor for identifying Arts Infusion youth? At risk implies a chance or probability but not a certainty. As I left both site visits I realized, with certainty, because of the commitment and drive of you the, teaching artist the teens in your programs are indeed “At Risk”, at risk of becoming innovators, creators and leaders in their communities.
I’m looking forward to seeing more of your programs in the coming months. Have a safe and happy holiday.
Arts Infusion Program Coordinator
|Beats Lab: Better Boys Foundation|