Circles Circles Create a SpaceWe recommend beginning and ending each workshop in a physical circle if possible. Having EVERYONE in the room stand or sit in a circle is important because it is an opportunity for all participants to see each other, and in turn feel seen. Check-in Questions (10 min)Checking in and out is a chance to hear everyone’s voice. Some people aren’t naturally talkative, so this is a structured and productive way for them to be involved in conversations. This is also an important community building process for people to get to know each other. Grounding - Promoting / Absorbing Community Healing (20-30 min)Grounding is a way to shift energy to find common ground. As this workshop is often new for people, grounding supports the group to create unity; it centers your energy and acknowledges what is happening in your participant’s life and the community before entering the room. Group Commitments/ Norms (5 min) We recommend all workshops begin by creating a list of group norms to create a safe space within your own specific environment. We have led workshops within detention centers, community spaces, non-profit organizations, virtual spaces. Each space has their own needs and should create their own list. Focus on creating a space dedicated to: Accountability Having an enjoyable time Being yourself Respect Sharing space as well as materials Which circle sounds right for your group?Check-in QuestionsGrounding - Promoting / Absorbing Community Healing Icebreakers Icebreakers Build Your BondIcebreakers are fundamental because they break through the silence that can come from the unknown. They set the initial tone for the workshop and can lead the group into a collective energy. Icebreakers are important because everyone in the room has to be receptive and everyone MUST participate. 12-word autobiography examples https://iamwhy.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Icebreaker-option-theater-of-oppressed.mp4 Theater of the Oppressed Inspired Chair ActivityLooking at Art (Mickalene Thomas)Begin with the 12-word Autobiography Icebreaker (10 min) Essentializing the Self: Your life story in 12 Words In 120 seconds, write 12 words that represent you. Ask who would like to share Take 60 seconds to cross out 6 words. Ask who would like to share Take 60 seconds to cross out 3 words. Optional share Take 10 seconds to keep one word. Share Theater of the Oppressed Inspired Chair Activity (15 min)A group of chairs are placed in one section of the room. The facilitator will say a word and people will silently take turns arranging the chairs to represent the word they say. When you’re happy with the arrangement, stop and place the chairs back in a row. The facilitator then says an opposing word, to which people again respond by arranging the chairs to represent the word. When finished, ask the participants to reflect on what the chairs represented and how they felt during the activity. Suggested pairs: Detention & Community Power & Love Detention Center & Art studio Control & Observation Separation & Determination Looking at Art (20 min per artwork)Looking at the work of contemporary artists who are approaching some of the issues that are important to us as young women has been an important part of every workshop. We use an inquiry-based approach to discuss the work of artists such as: Mickalene Thomas, Amy Sherald, Cauleen Smith, Jenny Holzer and Lalla Essaydi. Which icebreaker sounds right for your group?Theater of the Oppressed Inspired Chair ActivityLooking at ArtBoth Writing Exercises Writing Exercises Compose Your StatementThe writing of the I Am Why statement is an integral part of the workshop and the project. Depending on your group and your time frame, there are many ways to have participants write their statements. Loop Writing Exercise/Brainstorm (1 hour)Everyone will open their journals, find a comfortable place to write and will be guided through a looping exercise that includes: Voyaging out Writing steadily (without stopping) about a set topic for several minutes. Each loop should approach the topic from a different perspective. Voyaging Back Reread through what you have written in the prior loops. What is your writing about? What is the story or skeleton here? Ultimately, participants will read over what they wrote to complete their I Am Why statements. Freestyle Battle (30 min - 1 hour)This is especially recommended for people working in lock-up and is a great way for a group to stay activated and engaged. The facilitator will give the group prompts and record the battle, which can be rap or spoken word. Participants can then listen to or read their recorded portions for inspiration to create their I Am Why statements. Prompts What is one of your strengths that the government or the system sees as a negative? What is a trait you have that has gotten you into a lot of trouble? Which writing exercise sounds right for your group?Loop Writing Exercise/BrainstormFreestyle Battle Self-Portraits SELF-PORTRAITS Design Your MasterpiecePart of I Am Why involves a collaborative portrait project. We begin with a portrait of each young woman looking at the camera. She chooses her expression, her environment if possible, and any people or items that are important to her identity. Artistic expression itself may be a new experience for many members of your group, so it will be important to guide them through the process to help them understand how to think about their artwork in order to bring their vision to life. Collaging can be a very powerful means of self-expression. By explaining the process and discussing topics such as composition, use of color and symbolism, participants will be able to use their collages as an outlet for their I Am Why statement. Ultimately, the photographic portrait is an interpretation, made more personal by every participant as they alter it with paint, collage and their words. The portrait can be done in a high-resolution digital format with a larger print (if you have the time and money) or in simpler formats discussed below. PhotoshootBriana’s in processFujifilm exampleUsing a high-quality digital camera and large-scale prints (2+ hours)Note: Please account for an extra day of photoshoots prior to the workshop. This is usually done over the course of a full-day workshop. Prior to the workshop we recommend creating a photographic portrait with each participant. If you are working with a group that you do not know well this is a great way to get to know them on an individual level. Typically the photographic portraits created are in an environment that says something about the person, identifiable as their city or neighborhood. During the workshop you will support participants in examining the photos with an artistic eye and explain and demonstrate how they will wash the background, prepare the actual washes and consider colors and composition. Your participants will begin communicating in brush strokes and letting their story and voice resonate. Using a Fujifilm or other instant camera (30 min - 1 hour)At the beginning of the workshop, take a photo of each participant against a neutral background with a Fujifilm or other instant camera. Have a combination of magazines and pre-cut imagery for collaging. The participants will create a background using paint markers. They can then create a mini collage based on the I Am Why statements that they have written. Using a portable printer and phone (1-2 hours)If there is not a lot of time but it is possible to use a good portable printer, the facilitator can take photos with a phone or digital camera and print them on high-quality matte finish paper at the start of the workshop. Using participants’ photos (1-2 hours)If there is not a lot of time and money, the facilitator asks participants to send them a photo from their phone, Instagram or Facebook account. These will be printed on a regular printer, preferably color and on a high-quality matte paper with some structure to be able to handle paint. When photography is not an option (1 hour)If using photography is not an option, such as when working in an incarcerated setting where photographing the young people is not allowed, you can create collages using the steps laid out in option 1 – combining just the collage and I Am Why statement to create the artwork. In these settings you might also use photography that does not identify the participant (e.g. hands, hair or other elements of the participant that express their personality). Which self-portrait exercise sounds right for your group?Using a high-quality digital camera and large-scale printsUsing a Fujifilm or other instant cameraUsing a portable printer and phoneUsing participants’ photosWhen photography is not an option Check-Outs CHECK-OUTS Creating closure and expressing gratitudeClosing the workshop in a way that respects everyone’s participation is as important as the opening of the workshop. At the end it is important to let the participants know that they matter, they have been heard, and that you are grateful they shared their stories and vision. https://iamwhy.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/IMG_8358.mp4 Pop-Up Art Exhibit (15 min) Every workshop concludes with a Pop-up Exhibit recognizing everyone as an artist and considering the work within the bigger picture of I Am Why. The art is hung and viewed as a group then everyone speaks about one piece that moves them. In addition to the Exhibit, choose one of the following. Sharing Rocks (15 min)A tactile momento, such as rocks bearing different messages (I love you; I see you; You’re Strong; You matter; etc.) can be exchanged between participants. Everyone in the group can tell each other why they wanted to give that particular rock and message. The rocks can serve as a small symbol that connects the participants even after the workshop has ended. Self-Care Bag (5 min)A small but meaningful gesture, this gift bag can have any items you think your group will enjoy. Examples are lotion, a candle, deodorant, a gift card. A card can accompany the bag, expressing your gratitude to the participants for sharing their journey and opening their lives to the group. Sharing Thank You Letters (10 min)If time and money is an issue, you can also simply put everyone’s name in a bag and have each participant choose a name and write a short letter to that person as a thank you. Which check-out sounds right for your group?Sharing RocksSelf-Care BagSharing Thank You Letters Workshop Summary Workshop Summary Name First Last Organization Name Email Workshop Title Workshop Date MM slash DD slash YYYY Where are you located?