In partnership with the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition and Nu Sigma Youth, BuildaBridge is conducting an ARTS 4 PEACE camp December 26-31 that combines didactic and practical conflict resolution skills with art-making. A4P integrates methods of drama, music, dance and visual arts with basic principles and practice of foundational steps for resolving conflict and proactive steps for promoting peace. The program is being offered to 50 youth ages 9-13. Classes will meet daily from 9Am-4PM. At a final celebration event, the students will demonstrate their learning through a group creative piece and the unveiling of a mobile peace mural. [Upper Left: theme poster designed by Leah Samuelson. Below Left: Jerald Bennett leads the group in learning the A4P theme song "Metaphor", which he composed for the camp held at the Eastern University School for Social Change in Philadelphia.]
ARTMAKING TO PEACEMAKING is a curriculum designed to teach peacemaking and conflict resolution skills to middle school students using the arts: creative writing, dance, drama, music and visual arts. The curriculum uses art as metaphor and art as demonstration to teach basic peacemaking, conflict resolution and negotiation skills – skills that are embodied in and reinforced by the art-making process itself. Art-making provides a vehicle for practicing and rehearsing the peacemaking skills.
WHAT STUDENTS WILL LEARN.
1. The skills, concepts and vocabulary related to a four-step peacemaking process.
- Four basic human needs often involved in peace-making
- The five basic emotions
- Articulate the five responses to conflict
- The steps involved in the peacemaking process
- Active listening skills
- Creating win-win solutions to conflict
- Working collaboratively
- Asking for forgiveness
3. A theme song and motto embodying key character formation values
Becoming Peacemakers. Students who attend and participate actively in all sessions, who keep the peace according to the Rights & Responsibilities and BuildaBridge Rules documents, who complete all assignments, who score at least an 80 (Excellent-Good) on the knowledge & skills post-assessment, and who participate in the final authentic assessment celebration will receive a Certificate in Peacemaking for Young Citizens.
Due to the escalating violence in the city of Philadelphia over the past few years, BuildaBridge has seen a need for teaching methods of non-violence to cope with daily life issues among children and youth. When children are exposed to violence they often internalize many of their emotions that can lead to trauma. Learning strategies for resolving conflict and making peace are important social and life skills. The arts provide vital and effective methods for teaching conflict resolution and peace-making with children and youth. This has been confirmed through research from such national organizations as the National Endowment for the Arts. (Art in Peace Making, Department of Juvenile Justice and the National Endowment for the Arts, 1997). Integrating the arts with important life subjects is not new to BuildaBridge.
BuildaBridge has been developing and providing arts-integrated life skills courses for four years. Beginning with the Money News Network (MNN), funded by American Express, BuildaBridge developed and presented a financial management course for adults living in transitional housing. MNN combined drama, music and visual arts to teach basic skills in banking, budgeting, and credit. Followed by the Healing Place, a training program for recognizing and responding to trauma in children, BuildaBridge developed its first Act Out for Peace camp with youth in the Germantown community. BuildaBridge is currently developing a parenting skills curriculum.