Thursday, July 02, 2009

arts academy

Crossings held our first Arts Academy this morning. For three Thursdays this month, a group of artists are going downtown to Tribe One to teach song-writing, sculpting, dance, and poetry to "at risk" inner-city kids. It is a big need and an incredible opportunity to help these kids find outlets to express their thoughts and feelings, and to do so in a positive and constructive way.

And, based on this morning, it is going to be a big blessing for our artists, too.

My role is to teach the art of song-writing. Which may sound easy enough, but (and this is a big "but"), to a bunch of inner-city kids, 'song' means only one thing: rap. So, yes, laugh if you will (and you probably should)...but I am instructing at risk, inner-city kids how to rap.

Now, keep in mind that I am not actually rapping; I am simply helping them construct lyrics and rhymes. So, its not quite as bad as it sounds. But I was a bit nervous, to say the least.

However, here is what I found: these kids have talent. A lot of talent.

And more than that...they have a story to tell. Their language may be coarse, and certainly not every student was into it, but I was blown away at how much these kids opened up this morning. And on the first day!

One young man, within a matter of 5 minutes, wrote this...

When I was ten years old was when my life really began
I could feel the pain through my veins like a sting

I tried to be nice to my mom but she was real mean
My dad was never there for me,

He left me to be a man
and I had to try the best I can

Now its been five and I feel like I'm stuck in a beehive
I've tried to go to church and they say I've got to strive to survive

But I don't see why I've got to strive
when nobody's helping me get out of this beehive


michaelCODY said...

This is really cool.

The Harbins said...

I wonder if you'll have any of my kids I had when teaching at Green. I miss those kids a lot!

Heather Harbin

Anonymous said...

You are His hands and his feet. And He will lead you, Bill. This is so awesome that you are there for these kids. I knew God had great things in store for you !!!