I was a student member of the Inside Out Community Arts Program from 2000-2002 at Henry Clay Middle School. I joined the program out of sheer curiosity and had little understanding of what I was about to get myself into. Joining the Iniside Out Program was one of the best decisions of my life!
Through this program I interacted with great artists, whose interest was to share their trade with us and to guide us through community building within our school. In the Inside Out Program, I was finally able to express myself, regarding all of the problems that I was feeling as a pre-teen and of any problems concerning the community that I lived in. Inside Out gives it students the necessary tools to cope with the world around them and provides them with a safe place to find their voices. The students participate in various workshops that prepare them for their "final project", which is to write and perform and original play about a topic of the students' choosing. The students also get to participate in weekend workshops with their parents and get to go an a weekend camping trip where the students meet students from neighboring middle schools. On this trip the students put the final touches on their plays and get to perform and critique each others plays, before they are performed for their parents.
Inside Out gives their students a sense of autonomy and control and provides the students with the tools to be able to communicate with others.
When I first came to Inside Out as an 8th grader, I was extremely shy and I didn't know how I'd push myself to become the person that I didn't think I was. I was skeptical of the program, as I didn't expect it to be such an interactive program that I would be a part of for the years to come. My experience of being in such an interactive environments with other kids my age was limited, as I was in independent study. However, the artist leaders and youth artist leaders helped me throughout the entire process. I found a part of myself that I didn't even know existed. I learned that I was a leader who deserved to be heard and that theater arts was something that I loved. Inside Out helped me to believe in myself.
When I came back as a mentor, it was an entirely new experience! I became a part of a large network of mentors who became like family to me. Inside Out is my home away from home.
Me and some people from from my school go to Inside Out and we really never thought that this program would be this way. This is a good program. it will help you in the future to not be so shy. At inside out they make us do thing that help you use your voice in diffrent ways. This a good program helps you express your self.
From Asante and Josue, students at mark twain middle school