“Last year I attended the Sing For Hope Arts Intensive, and it was the most enjoyable and rejuvenating experience… There were so many new things that I tried out, from the different dance styles to the a cappella singing to drawing in new ways. These new art skills made me more comfortable to try new things and made me more confident… Not only that, the Arts Intensive also introduced me to new friends I talked with even after the final performance. My experience translated to school too, after summer ended. I became much more open to new people, my confidence was at an all-time high in terms of schoolwork and socializing, and overall I have felt much more creative and thoughtful. My passion for music and writing was reignited and I am comfortable being more social…”
– Aidan, age 17, Sing for Hope Arts Intensive student in 2015 and 2016 (quote excerpted from Aidan’s 2016 Sing for Hope Arts Intensive application)
Each year, Sing for Hope’s summertime Youth Arts Intensive provides motivated high school students with the opportunity to explore various art forms in an immersive, creative environment. Students, who are selected based on the strength of their applications, participate in classes led by professional artists from Sing for Hope’s Volunteer Artist Roster; sessions include acting, improvisation, a cappella, songwriting, visual art, dance, and more. Arts Intensive students hail from all five boroughs, and share two principal qualities: exceptional motivation and passionate interest in learning about different forms of artistic expression. The Sing for Hope Arts Intensive is provided free of charge for participating students.
Last week, returning Sing for Hope student Aidan (quoted above) was joined by a new cohort of motivated New York City high school students for the first week of the fourth annual Sing for Hope Arts Intensive (Session 1). Hosted at Glasgow Caledonian University New York in Soho, the Intensive provided Aidan and his peers with high-quality artistic experiences powered by Sing for Hope Volunteer Artists. Under the careful guidance of Sing for Hope Youth Arts Director Stephanie Martinez, the annual program is an example what educator, activist, and philosopher Maxine Greene referred to as “participatory involvement in many forms of art, which enables us to see more in our experience, and to hear more on normally unheard frequencies…”
At the core of the Sing for Hope Youth Arts Intensive is a safe, supportive community environment where students are valued and feel comfortable exploring and expressing themselves through various art forms, ranging from portraiture to Broadway dance to songwriting.
“Over the past five days, I’ve learned a lot. Not only things about the arts, but about who I am as a person. I was challenged and I’m grateful for those challenges. It made me realize what I truly can do… Everyone is unique in their own way and everyone I came across was truly talented. Each of us has something special, and when we came together, it was truly beautiful.” – Sakora, age 16
This past Friday evening, July 22nd, friends and family came together to celebrate this talented, inspiring group of young people and all that they have accomplished. Among the highlights of the program was an original song, entitled “Together,” composed by students under the guidance of Sing for Hope Volunteer Artist Will Armstrong:
Music and Lyrics by the 2016 Sing for Hope Arts Intensive Students, Session 1
I’d like to say that better days will come your way
And better days will come, so don’t you cry
No need to fret or run away
We all must try to realize
What’s before our eyes must change.
We’ll still sing. We’ll still fly.
We’ll still hope. We’ll still try
To find the strength to come together.
Sing for hope. Sing for peace.
Sing for you. Sing for me.
That’s the key.
That’s the key.
Our future’s bright.
We’ll be alright.
Today, we welcome a new group of students for Session 2 of the Sing for Hope Arts Intensive. We can’t wait to see what they create together!