Metro’s Partnership with the Diversity Awareness Partnership

Since 2007, Metro Theater Company has had the privilege of working with the Diversity Arts Summer Program, an arts-immersion program for high school students that encourages them to respond to different forms of intolerance — racism, religious intolerance, classism and sexual orientation and gender identity among them — through the performing arts, creative writing, and visual and media art.

Conducted by the Diversity Awareness Partnership, Metro Theater Company and professional artists, the Diversity Arts Summer Program is under the direction of Emily Task, program director at the Diversity Awareness Partnership and the founder of the summer program.

“Witnessing the segregation and isolation that exists in some communities, and the hatred and ignorance that goes unchallenged through generations, can be so damaging,” says Task. “I developed this program to offer an empowering space in which young people can engage in a different reality, and explore tools to create pathways back into their schools and communities.”
Task notes that the program seeks to help students understand their own multiple identities, but also to support the building of allied relationships between other cultural, community and identity-based groups. “We offer them a safe space to explore, share, reflect — and to be successful.”

Teaching artists at this compelling summer program include Emily Kohring, education director and artistic associate at Metro Theater Company, Rodney Smith, and Brett Williams. Speakers who met with the students during the 2010 program include representatives from the Organization for Black Struggle, Interfaith Partnership, Missouri Immigrant & Refugees Advocates (MIRA), Planned Parenthood, and College Summit.

SPECIAL EVENT: At the end of the two week program, two special events featuring the students’ imaginative works take place.  These special events are held at the Regional Arts Commission, 6128 Delmar Blvd. in St. Louis. The public is invited.  A gallery show of the students’ projects runs for two weeks after the special event.

DATES: The program dates for 2011 are TBD.

For more information, call Nancy Tonkins at Metro Theater Company at 314-997-6777.