Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.
"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Thank you Rebecca and Dan
Last night Writopia had it's annual event at the Jewish Community Center on 76th and Amsterdam in NYC.
And I cried. Rebecca Wallace-Segall, founder and director, and the inimitable Dan Kitrosser, actor/writer/teacher - pulled off an extraordinary event with over ONE HUNFRED students, ranging from the ages of 8 to 18. They started by sending out a list of WORDS to all teachers and parents, for kids to look at, cull from their writings, and to make associations with the words. Like BLUE, FATHER, GARBAGE, TOYS . . .
Huh? Was the look I got from many of my own students, and I tried to explain it like the game Apples to Apples, but even I didn't know exactly what Rebecca and Dan had in mind.
What transpired was a leap of faith on many students' part and a transformative experience. It was one of the best performance pieces that I have ever seen. Group poetry. And yes, I cried.
It's hard to believe that Rebecca started Writopia barely three years ago in her apartment, and how much it has grown. It's hard to believe that I have been leading workshops there for only a year! Now there is a sacred kid-centered writing space community on the Upper West Side where young hearts and minds can flourish, and kids have permission to write about whatever they want to write about. I love Rebecca for creating this!
So thank you, Rebecca and Dan, and the rest of the Writopia team, for a truly incredible evening, for shining a great big spotlight on all that is hopeful and unique and wildly creative about each and every student, about our capacity as human beings to reach for wholeness through community.
I share Rebecca's mission and vision, and am opening a Writopia in the heart of Northern Westchester, Mt. Kisco. We are starting enrollment for summer camp right now, so tell all of your friends in the area! (More about this another time!)
Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone . . . read and write on!