Our VocalEssence WITNESS School Program workshops are in full swing, with all eight VocalEssence Teaching Artists busy conducting workshops with more than 4,300 students from 32 elementary, middle and high schools, through the lens of their artistic medium, around the subject of trailblazing African American and African women in our community.
Recently, at Alice Smith Elementary in Hopkins, VocalEssence Program Manager Rob Graham attended workshops led by T. Mychael Rambo and Anita Ruth, in which students recalled prior knowledge about Sharon Sayles Belton, Andrea Jenkins and Ilhan Omar, and worked in small groups to create new lyrics inspired by these trailblazing women, set to the spiritual “This Little Light of Mine,” which were then shared back with the whole class.
Teachers and Teaching Artists are reporting that their workshop experiences have been highly successful and educationally enriching for their students. One teacher raved about their experience with Karla Nweje, stating “We absolutely loved have Karla here with us at Windom last week. She challenged the kids in their thinking and brought to the table a perspective that our kids need. Thank you for creating such a wonderful program, and for wanting to be a part of a crucial time in our children’s education. Our world, without a doubt, needs that deeper and more restorative thinking that you have created a space for through this program.”
Browse the VocalEssence WITNESS Teacher Resource Guide for this season below. Teachers receive a resource guide, training, and two free workshops as part of the program. On February 25, 2019, students and teachers will attend a 50-minute Young People’s Concert at Orchestra Hall.