This project will support an 8 week residency on Rikers Island working with incarcerated girls and young women to create original theater. viBe Theater Experience (viBe) provides girls (ages 13-19) and young women (ages 18-24) in New York City with free, high quality artistic, leadership and academic opportunities. viBe works to empower underserved teenage girls to write and perform original theater, music and media about the real-life issues they face daily.
According to the ACLU, the "school to prison pipeline" is "a disturbing national trend wherein children are funneled out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice system. Students of color are especially vulnerable to push-out trends and the discriminatory application of discipline. Additionally, Black girls and young women disproportionately experience violence at school, on the job, at home, and in their neighborhoods.
viBe Theater Experience exists to provide underserved teenage girls and young women with free, high quality arts programming, opportunities for civic engagement, a platform to amplify their voices, and the opportunity to develop the leadership and advocacy skills to address the societal issues that affect them most. viBe is also committed to challenging the pervasive problem of the "school to prison pipeline".
We aim to be a solution to the challenges young women are facing by helping to educate and empower them about how they might navigate restrictive conditions, and how to contribute to efforts to end patterns of violence, harmful social norms, & exploitation through art that generates individual, social, and systemic change. viBe's unique pedagogy, grounded in Devised Theater places girls at the center of the work that is created by offering them the autonomy to "speak their truth to power."