Students work together to break down barriers and challenge stereotypes.
Students from Path with Art and the Northwest School came together for a two-week workshop where they wrote poetry, created mixed media self-portraits, and were challenged to see each other in new and unexpected ways.
Students from both communities were split into “Family Groups," each led by a long-time Path with Art student artist with lived experience of homelessness. This exciting curriculum pilot program that benefitted both organizations was developed and executed by conceptual and teaching artist, Natasha Marin, whose Red Lineage* project seeks to explore power, privilege, and identity through globally collaborative poetry. She was assisted by teaching artist Jen Dixon.
At the end of these two weeks, students from both communities presented their work in their Family Groups and shared what they learned over a potluck full of home-cooking.Path with Art students felt the most positive aspects of the project were the chance to share, to challenge stereotypes, to be seen and heard for who they were, and the openness and vulnerability of the high schoolers. A Northwest School student confided his own prejudices upon entering the workshop, and how they changed after hearing more personal stories from a PwA participant: “Sometimes you think of people who live in homelessness as uneducated or uncultured – but he was bright, introspective, curious, well-travelled. He totally surprised me.”
Students from the Northwest School said the experience challenged them to get out of their comfort zones, break down barriers, and challenge stigmas around those who experience homelessness. One Northwest School student presented a Path with Art student with a friendship bracelet she made, sharing, “I made this for you because I have a bunch and wear mine all the time, and I know it’s nice to have a token to remind you that you’re loved, respected, and heard.”
* For more information about Red Lineage, visit www.redlineage.com.