The heart of Community-Word Project’s activities is the empowerment of students’ voices through the creative arts.

Three young women involved in an arts integrated program face camera.

Community-Word Project currently works with 26 Title I public schools across NYC establishing Collaborative Arts Residencies for 2,800 students.

Community-Word Project’s Collaborative Arts Residency program uses creative writing and the arts to help students develop the creative and critical thinking skills they need to succeed in school and in life. Two Teaching Artists – one writer and one artist of another discipline – work closely with classroom teachers to lead each residency, which lasts between 10 and 25 weeks for one hour each week. Residencies integrate creative writing and visual arts, music, dance, or theater into the classroom curriculum to accelerate students’ academic and creative learning through the arts.

This model emphasizes helping young people develop their voices and strengthen their writing. Intentionally pairing a writer with another artist in every classroom ensures that each student practices articulating their ideas and aspirations to be individually and collectively heard.

Residencies begin with the creation of Community Poems. Our TAs help students discover that creative writing is a powerful tool for processing complex emotions, relating to others, and expressing their voices. After creating Community Poems, students refine their writing skills and draw on personal experiences to compose individual poems. At the end of the residencies, students build confidence in their individual and collective voices by performing in front of their peers, teachers, and families. These performances help our students become proficient in communicating their emotions and perceiving emotional states in others. Each student also receives a professionally printed anthology of their work to share with their family and experience the pride of being a published author.

CWP residencies also incorporate other forms of visual arts, including mural making,  photography and additional exercises in drawing and painting. These additional visual media give students not only a technical skill set and an understanding of visual terms, they also give students the opportunity to tell their individual and community stories in creative and thought-provoking ways. The public exhibitions of their murals, photographs, and other visual arts projects in-and-out of school are a source of pride and accomplishment for our students.

In the 2020-2021 academic year, Community-Word Project developed synchronous and asynchronous models that combined live virtual sessions and pre-recorded videos to give our students the tools to further develop skills and amplify their voices around the challenges and hopes they have for themselves and their communities.

Our programs help students analyze what is currently happening in their lives, to process the incredible grief and isolation that they and their communities have experienced before and during pandemic, and create an opportunity for students to rebuild community.

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Community-Word Project

Community-Word Project’s multi-disciplinary, arts-integrated curriculum provides alternative learning strategies for writing and creative expression. Let us know how we can customize arts programming for your students.