Prison Creative Arts Internship Week 4

This internship has allowed me the opportunity to work with scholars, who plan to potentially apply and attend the University of Michigan. This is because of Wolverine Pathways, a program that works with youth up until their graduation from high school. If students go through the program then they are awarded a full four year tuition scholarship, once they get into the University. Wolverine Pathways collaborated with the Prison Creative Arts Program so that a creative arts workshop could happen throughout the summer. Me being an intern, I was asked to help in facilitating these workshops. Two other students and I began facilitating these workshops last week and we will continue facilitating until August 8th. The workshops are held every Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 am to 2 pm.  Altogether we have 12 scholars, all around the age of 16 and 17. As a team, we have to come together each week to plan out what exactly will be done in these workshops. It is a creative arts workshop which means in involves theatre, creative writing, visual arts, and music. Our challenge was to figure out ways to incorporate all of these aspects, as well as progress towards having each participant being able to present through a portfolio the things we did in the workshop. We also had to modify most of the activities because we usually do these kinds of workshops in prison settings, and this was no prison. For example with most theater games, in prison, we are not allowed to touch each other as much.  With the simple ability to touch each other in these workshops, it opened up the possibility of so many more activities. The best part about these workshops has been seeing these students break out of the comfort zone so early. It was only able to happen though because as facilitators we established a list of agreements that involved making sure this environment felt safe, and that whatever happened in the room stayed in the room. It has also been really cool seeing the amount of creativity that has come out of these students. When it came to the creative writing and arts activities, the facilitators and I were really impressed with the material the scholars created. If anything, this workshop is building my confidence up as a facilitator, especially when it comes to recognizing group dynamics and adjusting accordingly. I also believe I am getting better with my organizing and planning skills. This is all in association with my internship with PCAP. As of now my schedule looks like this: Monday, Thursday, and Friday in the PCAP office, Tuesday and Wednesday with Wolverine Pathways.

edwilli

I am a senior studying Acting Performing in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance and I also major in Psychology in the School of Literature, Science, and Arts.

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