Why We Should Prepare to be Dangerous

This is a big week for me as a teaching artist and girl advocate.  Not only has our Go Girsl! Camp registration opened for the summer, tomorrow, I will be giving an 18-minute TED like talk at the How Kids Learn Conference in San Francisco about my work.  The event is sold out but, don’t worry, it will be filmed and I will share it here.  My talk shares my views on:

  • Why I feel we so desperately need a compassion revolution;
  • Why I feel like we must support the leadership of girls and women to lead us in the compassion revolution; and
  • Why theater is the greatest medium for helping all of us learn and practice the skills of compassion
From my powerpoint presentation

From my powerpoint presentation

This is a big deal for me.  I want to make it clear that I am talking about something more than giving girls the opportunity to improve their self-esteem by being in some “cute plays.”  It’s bigger than that.  These are girls are engaging in a process of deciding who they want to be and co-creating the world they world they want to live in.  I really do believe these plays that Go Girls! make can change the world.

I’m just afraid that no one else believes it.  I’m afraid it’s more than we are prepared to believe.

Also this week, on Saturday in Berkeley, I will facilitate the first full membership meeting for Teaching Artists Organized (TAO).  As the Membership Committee chair of TAO, I am really pumped about about making 2013 the Year of the Teaching Artist.  I believe so strongly (and have written about this before), that, in the wake of violence and disconnection and abuse and neglect, it is time for teaching artists to rise to leadership in bringing us all back to peace.  This compassion revolution that I speak of depends on the skills of the teaching artist.  Again, sharing this on Saturday is a big deal for me.  I want to make it clear that I am talking about something more than giving kids the opportunity to get the arts education that has been so savagely eradicated from our schools.  It’s

From my powerpoint presentation

From my powerpoint presentation

bigger than that.  Teaching artists have the power to help kids and adults, in various community settings, imagine new possibilities for how we can all BE together.  By strengthening the collective imagination and giving everyday folks the tools and skills to make and do and create, we threaten the whole status quo.  As my friend, Big Rich, said to me yesterday:

“The game is in danger.  Being able to be creative and proactive is dangerous to these people.”

I’m afraid that my fellow teaching artists aren’t prepared to be dangerous.  I hope we are.  I hope I am.

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It’s the End of the World. Time to Tell YOUR Story.

The young artists of Project Level

It’s 12-12-12.  Some of us think today is a lucky day.  Some of us think the world will end.  People are getting married and having parties and generally trying to find ways to live up to this auspicious date.  Like humans do better than any other life form on the planet, we are making meaning.  Good.  We should be.  I suggest making today the day that you step out – bold, brave, and authentic – and tell the world your story.  If you need a bit more explanation and inspiration, as always, we should turn to our youth. Continue reading