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BuildaBridge Institute 2009 Report Open Institute June 3-7, Graduate Residency June 3-10 Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA

BuildaBridge Institute: Transforming Lives through the Creative Arts BuildaBridge Institute is a training and applied research academy that prepares artists, community and congregational leaders, social service professionals, and nonprofit organization personnel to integrate the arts effectively in education and community development. Over the five-day training institute, fortyeight participants, four staff and twenty-three faculty gathered at Bryn Mawr College on June 3-7 to learn and dialogue about community development through arts education, and effective arts based tools for healing and empowerment with a special focus on vulnerable populations. The Institute offered two simultaneous track courses, Skills Development Workshops in drumming, hip-hop, transformational drama, visual arts, cross-cultural skills for community and overseas service; and five Methods Lab Practicum classes where participants experienced direct arts service with youth and seniors in local shelters and retirement homes. Methods

Lab classes included visual arts/sculpture, drumming, ballroom dancing, altered books and spoken word. Participants came from Pennsylvania, Virginia, California, New York, Florida, Indiana, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Arizona, Maryland, Louisiana, Washington, Malaysia, Philippines, Nicaragua, Brazil, Thailand and Romania. Among them ten master students attended the Graduate Residency (June 3-10), part of the Master of Arts in Urban Studies - Arts in Transformation Concentration of Eastern University in Philadelphia. (BuildaBridge Institute is Eastern’s instructional partner in providing the Arts in Transformation Concentration of the MA in Urban Studies earlier mentioned.)


Track 1 Courses

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Foundations for Arts in Transformation

Dr. Nathan Corbitt, President and Founder of BuildaBridge, presented an overview and foundation for arts in transformation. An artist typology was explored as part of an individual arts in transformation and social change model. Considerations were given to the power of the arts and basic principles for effective arts engagement. These set the stage for the fields of arts-based community development, cultural community development, development communication and arts-based community mission. Practical applications of theory and theology were considered for holistic community development, program planning, standards for community arts programs and program evaluation.

Arts in Education

Arts and Spiritual Development

Dr. Vivian Nix-Early presented Money News Network, BuildaBridge’s drama-based training curriculum on financial literacy, as an illustration of arts-integrated education. The course also focused on giving participants the basic mechanics of creating arts-integrated curricula and lesson plans to teach humanities, science and other academic subjects.

Lynne Farrow explored a variety of hands on art making activities that can be used with different atrisk populations as they relate to different aspects of spirituality including relationship development, personal expression, healing and wholeness. Randolph Walters introduced self regulation, character development and resilience in youth while Joseph Modica approached basic faith development theories. Participants where engaged in Farrow’s experiential art activity - “the broken pot” - where they broke and put together a clay pot as a metaphor of healing and transformation. Pictures from newspapers and magazines were glued to each broken pot to give a face and a voice to the process of transformation.

Arts, Creativity and Human Development

BuildaBridge videos http://www.youtube.com/transformingarts Money News Network - drama based life skills training on financial management The Healing Place - drama based life skills training on trauma response

The course consisted of an art therapy panel where presenters from three art mediums (Michele Rattigan, Ann McFarland and Gayle Gates) outlined the normal stages of development through visual arts, music and dance/movement. Participants learned how to identify the various stages, in“The interactive/ dicators of emotional and social experiential elements growth appropriate for each stage, of presentations were how to engage children in discusespecially fun and sions about their artwork and helpful in illustrating concepts.” when to refer a child to an art therapist.


Arts in Healing Christine Downs, Mindy Jacobson-Levy, Deborah Sherman and James Borling focused on trauma, and the creative arts psychotherapeutic process in visual arts, dance/movement and drumming as a healing tool. Participants discov-

ventions are rich resources for communication and attunement. The course also addressed how to listen and talk with children who have endured trauma and the pitfalls that interfere with the ability to help.

ered how severe trauma affects children, particularly in terms of the disconnection to the self and the relationship between the selfothers, and how this manifests into adulthood. The value of art making in therapeutic settings was explored through dance and visual art experiential activities that demonstrated how art inter-

“Michele Rattigan was excellent and thorough. Excellent job in time management, well organized, and knowledgeable.”

“James Borling gave very good examples of how to use music for healing and I am thankful that he actually put the methods he taught us into practice with the class so we could experience what our clients experience.”

Arts in Social Services Trapeta Mayson stressed the need to work with children from a strength based perspective and to recognize their abilities to develop a strong sense of resiliency. Children are often underserved due to their age and limited resources. Focusing on their strengths and not on their weaknesses can be the best social service model. The course also outlined systems and organizations working to meet social needs around the world. David Bronkema identified the types of organizations (grassroots, nongovernmental organizations, government, bilateral, multilateral, and private sector), their drives and motivations, the systems and networks they have created, the types of issues they address and approaches they use, and the relationships they enter into with each other.

Leadership Practicum Dr. Nathan Corbitt provided the participants with the opportunity to learn different tools for program planning, program funding and assessment.

Resources Jacobson, M. L. (1994) . Art Therapy, Sandel, Susan L., Sharon Chaiklin and Ann Lohn. (1993) Foundations of Dance/Movement Therapy: The Life and Work of Marion Chace. A. Faber & E. Mazlish, HarperCollins Publishers Inc.; New York; 1980. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. Corbitt, J. Nathan and Vivian Nix-Early. (2003) Taking it to the Streets: Using the Arts to Transform Your Com munity. Smith, Sally. (2001) The Power of the Arts: Creative Strategies for Teaching Exceptional Learners.Brookes, 2001. Lois Huey-Heck and Jim Kalnin. (2006) The Spirituality of Art, William Cleveland. (2000) Art in Other Places: Artists at work in America's Community and Social Institutions.

Track 2 Courses

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Conscious Drumming Drumming has been used throughout history as a method of community building, spiritoemotional development, and ritual. Music therapists and others are applying drum methods to many clinical populations, including at-risk youth, substance abuse, PTSD, trauma, geriatrics, etc. James Borling taught the Institute participants basic drumming techniques, simple models of group facilitation and

the model of “Conscious Drum ming” - a specific model of group drumming designed to facilitate individual expression in the context of a group setting. “I really appreciated the time with the instructors for methods lab, especially James Borling, and seeing how the work/theory is put into practice. He was very encouraging and open to helping us understand how it works.”

Self Portraits: Visual Storytelling through the Altered Book “The creation of altered books is a cathartic and healing process, a way of containing both dark and light memories”. Jesse White brought through her practicum lab at Caring Heart Manor retirement home a new method to explore selfidentity and of story telling by recreating books. Six senior participants wrote their stories and collaged and painted their very own book while Institute participants shadowed Jesse White as she created a safe space for personal and creative exploration.

Sculpture with Youth and Seniors Charlene Melhorn’s practicum lab at Stapeley Manor retirement home brought together two age groups that ordinarily don’t interact: youth and seniors. Participants observed how to build community through a collaborative work environment and how to use sculptural materials such as bolsa wood framing, plaster, or papermache. Seniors had a chance to voice their life experiences through individual art pieces which were merged together at the end to create a collective whole.

Transformational Drama Lisa Jo Epstein introduced the techniques and theories of the Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) created by Brazilian theatre innovator and social activist Augusto Boal. Participants learned the basics of core TO techniques - Image Theatre and Forum Theatre, and ways TO enables a group to grapple with pressing personal and/or public concerns through non-competitive, playful theatre techniques. TO work can raise awareness, offer a space for the stories of those who have been silent or silenced, stimulate discussion, lead to self and social reflection and generate both personal and group ideas for working towards change.

Hip Hop Studio Gary Hook and Allen Sweeny used experiential methods to teach participants how to write and record over a beat on a CD. Participants wrote their own song focused on life experiences and change. Institute Hip Hop song: http://www.buildabridge.org/myblog/index.html

Skills Development Workshops

Methods Lab Practicum Classes

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Sponsors and Collaborators Bryn Mawr College is a private women’s liberal arts college located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, eleven miles west of Philadelphia. The scenic suburban campus includes forty buildings spanning across 135 acres of land. Bryn Mawr College also offers postgraduate, master’s and doctoral programs in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research and Post Baccalaureate Premedical Program. Eastern University is a co-educational Christian university of the arts that includes undergraduate, graduate, Seminary and accelerated adult programs. Eastern’s School for Social Change offers a master’s degree in Urban Studies, in which students learn to be effective Christian leaders in urban settings and can choose a concentration in either Arts in Transformation, Community Development or Youth Leadership. Mellon Trust (The Bank of New Youk Mellon) Established in 2007 from the merger of Mellon Financial Corporation and The Bank of New York Company, Inc., The Bank of New York Mellon is a leading asset management and securities services company, uniquely focused to help clients manage and move their financial assets and succeed in the rapidly changing global marketplace. Fox Chase Bank Charitable Foundation fosters growth of the business environment in the communities it serves and improve the quality of life for those who live in them. The Foundation seeks to fulfill its mission by financially supporting non-profit organizations and programs in the communities that encourage business entrepreneurship and economic development, support artistic and cultural initiatives that enrich communities, provide vital human services, access to safe and affordable housing or economic stimulus. Kari A. Reed Graphic Design and Illustration offers a variety of comprehensive graphic and marketing services, illustration and commissioned art, as well as consultation and identity development to a variety of businesses, private clients and non-profit organizations. Contact: karianneartsy@gmail.com or call 856.308.1143.

BuildaBridge Institute 2010 Open Institute June 2-6 Graduate Residency June 2-9 Bryn Mawr College - Bryn Mawr, PA Registration and information institute@buildabridge.org 215 842 0428 x 11 www.buildabridge.org


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Institute 2009 Poster


2009 Institute Report