We all come from somewhere, but what we call home is up to us.
Home is community and belonging. Home is where we can be authentic. Every home, however you define it, has a foundation. Ours began in a classroom.
four University of Texas Drama and Theatre for Youth graduate students developed a violence prevention program that toured middle schools and juvenile justice centers. They called it “Theatre Action Project”.
Theater Action Project was over a decade into their non-profit status and grew to employ 75+ Austin artists to serve more than 20,000 students in Central Texas.
Now offering a variety of art mediums beyond theatre, we changed our name from Theatre Action Project to Creative Action. The new name reflected our mission to help more students find their voice and place in the arts.
During this time, a few dozen of our Teaching Artists and staff collaborated on the “Creative Action Proclamation”. This declared that those in Creative Action would come together to:
- Relax, explore, and have adventures – making their imagined world a reality.
- Destroy boredom, make stuff, and express themselves with the intention of allowing everyone to live their best life.
- Transform our communities in positive and creative ways in order to inspire the flow of creative energy among a generation of youth.
10 years later, these lines ring more relevant than ever. In their desire to create a place of growth and creative freedom, they collectively held space for those in Creative Action’s past, present, and future to build a home.
For some, home is a place to live, but for many, this definition isn’t relatable or accurate. The arts can help learners process their relationship to family and heritage in way that observes where they come from but celebrates the individual. We can be a reflection of our circumstances, but we are not bound by them. Creative expression lets us stake our originality while honoring the cultural and familial influences we choose to hold. We all come from somewhere, but what we call home is up to us.
Building A Home Through Art
To feel at home is to feel secure being vulnerable, empathetic, and brave.
Being yourself is one of the most courageous things you can do, and art offers a way to show who we are through our own narrative. It is so valuable to young people to feel heard.
Enacting positive change begins by meeting each other’s needs for expression. Our Teaching Artists are mentors that students can always lean on for that support. They are leaders, coaches, performers, artists, activists, educators, confidants, facilitators and allies to every student they teach – with no role outshining another.
Teaching Artists are vital in helping students build their own sacred spaces. A home they can define themselves.
Our home has always been our Teaching Artists, our students, our ever-growing alumni, our communities, our cities, and each other. The pandemic separated us for far too long.
It’s time to come home.
Next month we’re celebrating Creative Action Homecoming. Join us November 11th through 13th for an unforgettable weekend that includes:
- Opening of UpFront Gallery’s new exhibit “Home, Sweet Home”
- The Little Big Things art fair—featuring works by local artists and craftspeople. Artwork will be available for purchase.
- A bike tour of our Chroma Collective and Color Squad murals throughout Austin (Limited to 25 riders. Sign up fast!)
- And the return of our beloved Community Art Sunday.
- RSVP on Facebook to receive updates and invite others to Creative Action Homecoming 2022!
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