Los Angeles is a beacon of arts and culture; but, despite the wealth of theater, film, and music in our backyard, for many in this community, access to the arts remains painfully out of reach. As Antaeans, the right to creative self-expression is at the core of our values, and our arts education program, The Antaeus Odyssey Artists’ Workshop, empowers students to share their stories.
We’ve grown our program to four campuses serving a wide range of needs and circumstances. Every week, teaching artists work with students at nearby Herbert Hoover High School; young men at the Rancho San Antonio Boys Home – a residential center serving court-ordered teen boys; young women attending the New Village Girls Academy after dropping out of traditional high school; and people of all ages who leave gang life to get a new start at Homeboy Industries. Participants often have a history of trauma, and for many, this is the first time they’ve been granted creative freedom and a platform to tell their stories.
The results are profound. As one 15 year-old participant shared, “I got to get closer to my peers and let out stuff I was holding in for a while. And they don’t judge you. We’re all family here.” A 17 year-old student said, “There’s a lot of support from the teachers, no matter what you write. It’s easier to talk about, when you know someone went through the same thing.”
Our adaptive curriculum pairs Shakespeare with rap and contemporary poetry, emphasizing social and emotional learning. Through writing, speaking, and improvisation, we show students the power of working as an ensemble, and inspire them to find their voice and speak their truth.
We share this with you today as a reminder that a gift to Antaeus supports more than the extraordinary work you see on our stage. The generosity of this community has allowed us to make a difference in the lives of 200 students this year, and we urgently need your help to keep this program going.
The time to give is now! Please consider making a gift before the end of our fiscal year on August 31 so that we can continue this vitally important work.
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