The Other Side


About

Our program utilizes performing arts and technology to connect girls and gender diverse people from underserved communities around the world. We spend time exploring the challenges faced by their community, as well as the community we exchange with through a variety of mechanisms. We acknowledge the intersections of oppression our participants may face, which often begins with gender and expands to include race, religion, socioeconomic status, and other forms of discrimination. Participants from Staten Island and the Bronx are paired with participants in Uttar Pradesh, India. Despite being on the other side of the world they are united in their challenges with inequality, colorism, and classicism. Daily they learn about an inspiring role model they can relate to and play thought provoking activities based on actor’s training and theatre of the oppressed. When they meet together they share their stories, offer advice and encouragement, and learn about each other’s cultures. 
Together, following the same curriculum they learn how to think critically about community challenges, and discuss together what solutions could look like. During the entire session the students work on short plays, journal entries, performances, and poems. Based on their dream for their communities, dream for themselves, and what they want the world to know about someone like them. These pieces create portfolios of work based on real world challenges they face. After each semester we share a showcase of their artwork with our supporters, donors, and alumni. These showcases, our virtual events, and our annual event Winterfest keep us all connected and updated on all things TOS. Most importantly these events help us highlight and uplift our students and their hard work, creative vulnerability, and uniqueness. The three pillars of The Other Side are: self esteem, empathy, and community.
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