Breaking Walls seeks to create an empathetic global youth community through its arts education programming that culminates in an empowering 18-day Summit in Yerevan, Armenia in 2022. Young artists and ambassadors from 13 different communities, who have been affected and isolated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, will have the opportunity to partake in collective ensemble creative writing workshops, rehearsals, a culminating performance, and the sharing of life experiences with their peers.
Although youths make up nearly 16% of the world's population, they encounter what philosophers have coined as "voice poverty"- which is the denial of access to opportunities, agency, & advocacy due to a lack of attention given to them. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated this isolation felt by many young people today, with a new report from the CDC in June of 2020 showing that 63% of youths experience an increase of anxiety and depression brought on by lack of connection & community.
Breaking Walls engages youth from across the globe through its network of ambassadors, teaching artists, & global partners, & invites a cohort to partake in an 18-day Annual Summit in 2022 in Yerevan, Armenia. By creating art together, these artists will explore the ideas & issues they share in common, & celebrate what makes each of them unique. Boldly learning about themselves & the other youth cultures, while inspiring the world with their powerful COVID-19 stories in a nurturing community.
Young artists who participate in Breaking Walls' programming & workshops are encouraged to write with rare honesty & to use writing and theater as tools for personal & social change. Over 1,650 young people internationally have been impacted by this programming & 95% of participants have returned to take part in each successive program & Summit. About 85% of returning artists assume leadership roles within their home communities & select a college major and/or career based on their experience.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).