What comes to mind when you think of activism and activists? For many, the idea of activist brings to mind leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and Banksy.
However, there's a growing movement of teen activists – people like Malala Yousafzai, Greta Thunberg, or Amanda Gorman – who are changing how and what it means to express themselves and raise awareness for causes they’re passionate about to enact change.
This summer's Teen Social Activism series will allow teen participants to explore different methods of self-expression and social activism via workshops led by a diverse set of artists through COMPAS. Learn more about the programs below, then visit our calendar to register.
Lisa Arnold – Social Justice Art
Lisa Arnold is an artist, teacher, and activist. This workshop covers a short history of sticker and poster art and activism. Participants will learn the 10Cs of Art and Social Justice to create unique and meaningful designs in the workshop.
See More Perspective – Hip Hop’s Calligraphy
See More Perspective is a hip hop artist, spoken word poet, and social justice educator. This workshop will cover one of the four elements of hip hop, graffiti. He’ll lead participants through a quick journey around the cultural art form of handstyle in creating graffiti, learning its significance and how to create their own personalized letters.
Guante – Poetry, Protest, and Possibility
Guante is a poet, educator, activist, author, and TEDx speaker. His workshops use poetry and storytelling as entry points into thinking deeply and critically about issues while helping participants to cultivate their own agency and power to make a difference.
MN Joe Tran – Into to Breaking
MN Joe Tran (@mnjoe88)is a breaker, choreographer, and instructor. This workshop will introduce participants to the history of breaking and the basic five elements of the dance: toprock, go-downs, footwork, powermoves, and freezes. He encourages students to add their unique flair and create their own combinations of moves.
Merit Thursday – Reclaiming the LGBTQ+ Media Narrative
Merit Thursday is an experimental animator, video artist, textile artist, founder and curator of Video Variant. In this workshop, Merit and participants will learn some of the history of Hollywood’s portrayal of LGBTQ+ people as monstrous, undesirable, and dangerous in films. After learning the history, participants will collaborate with Merit to create a work that defies the stereotypical narratives while learning about storyboarding, filming, lighting, and editing.
Deacon Warner – PSAs
Deacon Warner is a documentary filmmaker and youth media instructor. He will work with participants to learn about how Public Service Announcements (PSAs) serve as an easily approachable documentary format including topical research and creative digital storytelling to explore issues in their local communities and make powerful statements about the world around them.
These programs are funded with money from Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.