Tuesday, August 2, 2011

After Hours Workshops @ AFH!

Spray-painting, drumming, ping-pong, these are all activities that are open to the teens at Artists for Humanity after hours on Wednesday nights from 5:30 to 8:30. No wonder the kids love sticking around! Teens get to do what they love: create art while getting paid at a safe haven in the Artists for Humanity’s Epicenter. The after hours at AFH is set up so that the teens can engage in safe and fun activities after their working time is up. So far, the workshops have included break dancing, a drumming instruction using recycled items and most recently, a beading workshop as well as a live bird demonstration, lead by an AFH alum. This summer there will also be an open poetry night, an actor’s workshop and possibly Zumba classes as well. Free food is also supplied to the teens that attend the workshops. Lesley Horrall, education director and Courtney Wheeler, development associate at AFH are both in charge of organizing the after hours workshops this summer that started July 6th and continue on until August 17th.

The drumming workshop on July 20th was a big hit! It was lead by Berklee college of music students, Kramer and Sharon. They had a great turnout, with 35 teens in attendance. The Berklee musicians use recycled items to create loud and rhythmic music, which connects with AFH’s efforts for sustainable and energy efficient living. Some of the kids who attended are interested in music themselves, other’s just came for fun. The Berklee students are part of the band Trash Talk which was recently formed but has achieved success at AFH, by playing at its Greatest Party on Earth, annual event on May 21st. The teens at AFH loved banging on the drums and letting out their creative energies on the recycled buckets and water tins. After the workshop, the teens stayed around to play ping- pong and actually had an impromptu salsa-dancing lesson taught by AFH alumni, Shisha King.

It has been a trend that each Wednesday, more teens than the week before attend the after hours and this past Wednesday was no exception! Fifty- five teens attended the after hours and participated in a paper-bead making lesson as well as an owl and hawk demonstration. Although there may not seem to be an obvious connection, between beads and birds, both activities have to do with a bigger picture and connect to larger communities. The paper beads workshop reflect the designs of a group of jewelers in Kampala, Uganda, and the two owls and hawk come from an animal conservation center, Audubon which protects the wildlife in Massachusetts. The teens loved hearing the owls hoot and screech in their cages and loved seeing their majestic beauty while being held by AFH alum, Dan Burton.

The teens at AFH certainly know how to add their own fun and flair to any activity at AFH whether it be at after hours workshops, creating artwork in the studios or just hanging around the EpiCenter building. Get excited about our open-mic night, tomorrow night August 3rd!

Tara Pine

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