This past semester the Department of Theatre offered a flipped classroom course entitled Theatre for Social Action. The premise of the class was to focus on devising social action pieces with youth at the UNP Hartland Partnership Center, located in the Glendale neighborhood. Lead instructor Kelby McIntyre-Martinez provided instruction on-site each week with the University of Utah students and the Hartland Youth. The course focused on generating dialogue with the youth, providing avenues for their voice/perspectives to be heard, as well as fostering understanding and awareness amongst a very diverse community of young artists. From there, the university students and the youth were guided through the process of creating community-engaged theatre. The Youth performed their social action devised pieces for the community at the Sorenson Unity Center.
Because of this profound learning experience, two university students that were involved at Hartland this spring have asked to continue conducting field work in the arts this summer. They come each week and work with the youth. “This college experience was the most rewarding and challenging. Applying knowledge and skills in partnership here at Hartland is an empowering way to learn,” said Camille Dedman, Theatre for Social Action student.
“I have found that this reciprocal conversation allows youth and university students the opportunity to genuinely connect with each other as well as engage in the creative process. They are able to understand, on a deeper level, the greater entity to which they are contributing. I am proud that this amazing place called Hartland has empowered College of Fine Arts students to continue learning and growing here at Hartland as they emerge and become tomorrow’s arts educators.” ~ Kelby McIntyre-Martinez.
Youth who committed to coming to theatre and dance each week, having a great attitude, embodying leadership skills, and for performing at the Unity Center participated in fun and rewarding field trips that took place a few weeks ago. UNP staff had a great time watching the youth enjoy a reward they worked so hard to earn!
Thank you to the amazing UNP Hartland Youth Center Team: Abdullah “Tuna” Mberwa, Jasmine Montoya, and Lenn-Maureen Hernandez Rodriguez! Without you this work would not be possible.
Content provided by Kelby McIntyre-Martinez, Assistant Dean for Arts Education & Community Engagement in the University of Utah’s College of Fine Arts.