Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A sharing

The program has come to a conclusion for the summer and while we are eagerly working to set up more frequent workshops, the idea of sharing does not leave my mind.

Detroit has many problems, yes, and the work we do, being not quantifiable, is difficult if not impossible to measure. Yet, the amount of growth I experienced is amazing! Not only in the youth but in myself and teammates as well.

The opening up and willingness to share was heartwarming and inspiring on both ends. As a group we were accepted by the youth as we shared our tools and were rewarded with their creativity, thoughts and remarkable talents!
I was blown away by every person's agreement and bravery to stand up and share in front of the group.

It was an added treat to have many of our young Holy Cross students perform with us at our final performance as well :)


Now a few days post-project, the gifts I've gained are starting to sink in and as I unpack and organize I want to share something I found in one of our boxes.

This is from one of our written response periods. The topic was "What do I want to share with the world?" A rough draft, these first thoughts turned into a poem:

Beauty and inspiration

Joy and passion

My life, my love, my abilities.

Openness and perspective.

I want to bring what I have and do with it what I can.

Why hold on?

To share is true living.

Make real connections

Make beautiful connections

Give and get

Always learn


and Play

Live in the present and see with fresh eyes.

Always living, always alive.

Thank you for a great project and program!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fun and changes

We have been teaching for three days now and some lessons are starting to set in.
Not only for the students, but for us too.

We have seen trust challenged and strengthened, communication developed and body awareness increased with comfort and openness.
An emotional day three as we performed at Covenant House in the evening for students and other residents there.
We were able to thank the students for their sharing and openness.

Many of the artists are seeing why what we do is so important. With a student telling us this is the first time he hasn't felt ashamed of his situation, perspective is setting in.

We are so thankful for the opportunity to get to work with such great young people and share ourselves with great response!
More to come....

Check out our coverage on the news! Look at the videos, ours is called "Juilliard students provide inspiration"

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Looking forward...

Tomorrow our teaching begins!

We are looking forward to sharing with the students.
The team is prepared and excited... starting bright and early we will head to the Covenant House for our first workshop, followed by two more at Holy Cross Children's Services.

Our goal: Respect. Develop mutual respect, listening and a clear understanding of who we are.

After a great weekend of performances, we are rested, energized and inspired to begin!

More to come....

Photo taken at our Artist Village performance on Saturday, June 25th.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Late night/early morning poem for DAI

Winking drivers and sometimes drinking drivers.
This is Motor City.

Oh, but a wealth of inspiration.
We worked alongside the works in progress of Tyree,
walked past larger than life mural de Diego Rivera housed at the DIA,
and were invited to perform in a marble room with high ceilings and encased suits of armor,
and in the room next door, the Saline Fiddlers were gettin' down.

And yes, the Temptations are still alive, a pulse still present.

Most unbelievable, is the real fun is yet to be had.

by: Zoe Kumagai

Thursday, June 23, 2011

First performance... (for each other too)

Today was an extremely productive day of planning and discussions about why we volunteer and how to create curriculums and lesson plans!

On top of that, today was the first day we showed one another our art!!

We worked through potential performance pieces and presented them for each other... and may I say wow!! This is going to be a great week of performances!

From original poetry to dance improv with solo bass music, the pieces are thoughtful and meaningful. Truly, a performance made for Detroit.

We have many performances but our first is tomorrow!!

See us at the Detroit Institute of Art. Friday, June 24, 8 pm
and remember... Free ; )

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

First day, Great day

Gathering today, for our first team meeting/orientation far exceeded any expectations I could have had!

At once, it was as though we had all been friends for years!
Bringing together students/young artists from around the country, it was exciting to discuss the importance of our arts and what we want to work to accomplish.
It is a varied group, in discipline and background, but in spirit we were very much on the same page!
How wonderful to be in a room with eight (soon to be ten) exuberant, passionate, dedicated, talented and smart young artists who want to make a change in the world not just live in it "as is".

After spending time playing various "name games" and discussing what drew us all to the program, we were able to compile a list of words and phrases of what we want to accomplish (specifically for the workshop portion).
What follows is a first draft of our personal mission statement. A phrase we can keep with us and return to throughout the week.

"By establishing respect and open communication with exposure to the arts, we hope to encourage positive change in order to celebrate with love, each person's unique greatness."

Here's to a great start!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

List of our Performances!

Our performance flyer is out!

We have many great free performances coming up and we would love to see you there!

Click on the image to enlarge it and read our performance flyer

Monday, June 20, 2011

First Performance

Our first performance will be this Friday, June 24: 8:00pm at the Detroit Institute of Art!

Join us for a night of multi-disciplinary art.
Including Dance, Drama, Music, Comedy and Visual Art!

We will be performing in the beautiful Great Hall, next to the Diego Rivera mural.

Check out the link:

"Drawing inspiration from Detroit, the pieces performed remind the students of the city and aim to support the spirit of art and community found here. As a group of young artists they demonstrate the vitality of the arts, as well as its future direction. This group performance will feature all of the arts working together to create the final product!"

Friday, June 17, 2011

The team!

The program is fast approaching and our team is very excited!
We have a great group of artists from all disciplines, including visual art, dance, drama, music and comedy!

Coming from the Juilliard School, Wayne State University, University of Michigan, and College of Creative Studies this is a great opportunity for collaboration too.

Here are our Juilliard participants:

Breanna O'Mara (dance) - Founder and Director

Allison Job (music)- Founding team member

Brittanie Brown (dance)- Team member

Richard Dent (drama) - Team member

Corey Dorris (drama) - Team member

Friday, April 15, 2011

Share the wealth, share the help!

We are excitedly preparing for this year's program and while very close to our fundraising goal, we are not quite there.

We know times are tough, but help us out with whatever you can give; whether it be a sandwich, a shout out to spread the word or a ride on an airplane, we would greatly appreciate it!

And the best part? All donations are tax deductible!!
Detroit Arts Immersion is an official program of Young Association of Heidelberg, so we have non-profit status.

Donations can be made to: The Heidelberg Project
memo: YAH/DAI

Please send to:
Breanna O'Mara
60 Lincoln Center Plaza, Box #322
New York, NY 10023

Monday, April 11, 2011

Our Mission

Detroit Arts Immersion will provide a weeklong performing arts workshop to abuse/neglect, long-term foster and paroled youth in Detroit. Through a partnership with Young Association of Heidelberg (YAH), training and teaching experience will also be provided to Wayne State University students in order to create longevity for arts programming in Detroit. As a group of young artists, we will work to share our tools in order to provide classes promoting ensemble work, creativity, self-expression, esteem and pride. Using our disciplines of dance, drama and music, we will offer multiple avenues for expression and learning while enforcing team/ensemble work through collaborative, inter-disciplinary teaching.

Additionally, we will present free inter-disciplinary performances throughout Detroit. As performers we will work to relate to our audiences and empower them in the hope of sparking an initiation for change and growth in their communities. By performing pieces that are inspired by, or remind us of Detroit, we aim to support the spirit of art and community in our audiences.