To coincide with the national celebration of Youth Art Month and WMA’s exhibition, we hosted our first ever Youth Write Night, inviting 7th-12th grade students to share an original written work. The night was a wonderful success with 15 students presenting! Participants came out from Girard Middle School, Beverlye Magnet School, Dothan High School, Chipley High School, and Vernon High School.
Dylan Lawson, Director of Theater at Chipley High School, supported the evening not only by spreading the word in his district but also serving as the emcee of the event. He started the evening off sharing a written piece of his own, then ensured every student had the opportunity to share their own work.
“An event such as Youth Write Night is important to students because it gives them a platform to express their original ideas and their creativity. Young people have opinions, thoughts, and ideas that should not be stifled simply because of their age. We all share the same spaces and reality, and therefore we all can use our voices to create change or to simply relay messages of the observed. Students want their voices to be heard, and an event like Youth Write Night can be a great starting point for students to begin the process of sharing their thoughts with others, and to gain the confidence in knowing that their ideas are valid,” said Lawson.
Students shared their poetry, memories, and collaborations with others, all while ensuring the audience related through some laughter, some sadness, but mostly recognition. As I sat and observed person after person brave the walk to the microphone, I truly admired everyone’s ability to appear at ease as they shared personal truths with mostly strangers. WMA is always grateful to be able to share art with the community, and we are ever more grateful to extend that from the visual to the written, as well. As this Youth Write Night tradition continues, I look forward to see how our audience and participation grows!
Two students generously provided copies of their work to share with our readers online. If you were unable to attend the write night, we hope you will enjoy their words now and join us for the next Write Night on May 17, 2018!
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