Edgewood's Expressive Arts uses poetry, art, dance, and clowning to help children learn about themselves and how to express their feelings and thoughts.
Expressive Arts started as a small art program in 2007. Because of its remarkable effects on children, Expressive Arts became a broader therapeutic experience for students of the Edgewood non-public school and for students in the after-school program. Expressive Arts helps students find their own talents or strengths and express who they are and what they have experienced.
Expressive Arts children work in mixed media, collage, sculpting, and fine art. They use art to ask a question or to learn more about an object or idea. After completing their art projects, students write individual artist statements about their artwork. Their “ownership” of the work helps children value themselves and their ability to create something of their own.
In this volunteer program, students hear poetry and write their own. In addition to workshops, the program brings in outside poets to perform for the kids. Children in the Poetry Club write, learn choreography, and perform their own works, becoming more self-confident.
Clown Therapy, created by Paoli Lacy and The Circus Center, uses visual and performing arts to teach vulnerable youth new ways of creative expression and self discovery. The clowning classes use character development, acrobatics, circus arts, and creative play to help emotionally disturbed and physically or developmentally challenged youth.
Two clown teachers in full make-up and costume teach juggling, acrobatics, circus tricks, and clown character. They create a fun environment in which children leave their “civilian” selves behind for an hour, choose a clown name for the day, and play with the trials and tribulations of life through exaggeration, silliness, and a sense of control. For many children, developing a clown character allows them to express themselves with greater openness. For kids who have endured abuse, neglect or crisis, the effect is not only creatively expansive, it is psychologically therapeutic.
For more information about Edgewood Arts, send an email to Melusina Gomez or call 415.681.3211.