Poetry, Creativity and Critical Thinking: National Poetry Month at Performing Arts Workshop

Here at Performing Arts Workshop, our creative writing/spoken word artists celebrate National Poetry Month in action. Whether students generate visual art to accompany their written work or demonstrate their spoken word skills in slams, Performing Arts Workshop is alive with the power of the written word in the month of April.

At Mission Education Center, Artist Mentor Kristin Papania works with English Language Learners through the Workshop’s PACT21 project. For one project, students made storyboards for their poems into a drawing like this:

 But the creative process and ideas generated by words does not end here. After writing out poems based on their personal world views, they create dioramas to make their art literally multi – dimensional. By using different modalities to explore meaning through words, their work gains perspective and increases its dramatic impact.

Also in April, students at Marin County Juvenile Hall generate an anthology which pairs the written work of juvenile hall students with their own visual artwork.  The Workshop eagerly anticipates the anthology this year, which will feature works selected by Teaching Artist and creative writer, Freddie Gutierrez.

Elsewhere, students at Visitacion Valley Middle School and SF Community School are gearing up for their Global Writes slams on April 27th to culminate National Poetry Month. Students at both sites have been writing, memorizing and coaching each other in preparation for this big day. They will be competing in their first ever slams against students in New York City. Coached by Teaching Artists Lindsey Boldt and Deaidre White, both experienced performers and poets, they should represent themselves well in the competition.

The impact of the written word doesn’t begin or end in April. Many of the creative writing and spoken word residencies Performing Arts Workshop offers are year round. This summer we look forward to extending creative writing as an integral portion of our partnership with Cesar Chavez Elementary School’s summer program through Jamestown Community Center.

No matter what time of year, there’s always written reflection and revision happening around Performing Arts Workshop.

To find out more about Global Writes, Click Here

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