Mad Thinkers Update #2

Mad Thinkers Update #2

Dear Community,

We held our first workshop in partnership with New Hope Community Development Center on April 5 & 6, 2022. The workshop consisted of 2 fun-filled days including a crash course in theatre, improv exercises, team building, creative writing, script rehearsal and performance!

We believe the children participating in Mad Thinkers learned a lot about creative problem solving during the event.

I led Workshop #1. In future workshops, I will use the knowledge I gained to train others to take over teaching. Part of our goal for these workshops is to provide local teaching artists with more paid opportunities. We are looking forward to growing the program while connecting more teachers with students.

Thanks to Anne Songy with Acadiana Lifestyle, you can turn to page 19 and dive into the Mad Thinkers experience here. She wrote a beautifully detailed article and took some sweet photos of the kids. Click here: https://bit.ly/MadThinkersAcadianaLifeStyle

Our next workshop is scheduled to be in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters on July 12, 2022! We are looking forward to it!

Our team would again like to thank 24HCP and the community for the support we’ve received. We look forward to continuing to fulfill our goals and serving the youth of Acadiana through our love of the arts!


For more information and to bring Mad Thinkers to your organization, visit our site www.thelookingglasstheatreco.org/madthinkers.

Many thanks,
Allison Brandon & The Mad Thinkers

Creole Garson Update #2

Creole Garson Update #2

Dear Community,

We are making progress and are very excited! Since our last update, we have established our project timeline and have chosen the art disciplines that will be included in our programming. Creole Garçons will meet virtually and in person on some weekends from July – December. There will be two workshop days where each of the mentors will present an interactive lesson in their area of expertise. The participants will then choose at least one discipline to complete an apprenticeship under their mentor for the following months.

We worked to define the qualifications and commitment for the Creole Garçons participants and mentors. This helped us to complete our applications for both roles. In April, we shared the participant application form with a few local organizations that regularly work with young men who may be interested in participating in Creole Garçons. Our goal for our inaugural class is to have 10 participants. As of May 19th, we currently have 6 applications! We are close but not quite there. We will be accepting applications until the end of June.

In the coming weeks, we need to send out the mentor application and recruit professionals who meet our established mentor qualifications. There are more local organizations who work with young men that we need to establish relationships with or set up site visits. In order to increase interest and completed applications for both mentors and participants, we are considering promoting on social media. We believe in this program and look forward to getting the work done!

Thanks for all of your support!

Sincerely,
Jazmyn Jones
Team Creole Garçons

Team Lemonade Update #1

Team Lemonade Update #1

Dear Community,

Our club kids and families are still riding the excitement of being funded! It was, without a doubt, one of the highlights of our year. Over the last few weeks, we have made progress on our project in preparation of the August 22nd event.

We’ve shared the news with our school partners for them to begin to spread the word about the project. Our club kids have begun to recruit their friends to be a part of the lemonade teams. We are in the process of selecting our team leads. Our biggest goal leading up to the end of the year was to recruit team members, so we are right on task. At the beginning of the year, we’ll begin classes with UL’S Louisiana Entrepreneurship & Economic Development Center to equip our kids with all the tools they’ll need to be successful. While we’ve made a slow start, 2022 will be full of updates, learning, community outreach, and great lemonade!

Thank you for all the support,

Micah Nicholson
Team Lemonade Stand

Creole Garson Update #2

Creole Garson Update #1

Dear Community,

It has been a little over a month since we won the support of the backers for our project “Creole Garçons”. And we are still riding on cloud 9! We’re feeling energized, encouraged, empowered, and equipped. Thank you backers, 24 Hour Citizen Project, and YOU community.

The 24 Hour Citizen project happened right in the middle of a very busy season for us. As some of you may know, we are the creators of The Creole Nutcracker. And since August of this year, we have been very busy working on this production. Well on Sunday, December 5th we had our 4th annual performance of The Creole Nutcracker. It was our big return to the stage after the pandemic and it was actually our most attended show!

The Creole Nutcracker 2021 featured 4 young men including our Nutcracker Prince. At the show, we highlighted 3 of the young men and announced the upcoming launch of our “Creole Garçons” program. The exciting news is not only did we raise additional funds for our program through apparel sales but we also received several emails from the community about potential sponsors, partnerships, instructors, and most significantly young men wanting to sign up!

Now that our 2021 Creole Nutcracker program and performance has concluded, we can focus more on completing our next steps to launch Creole Garçons in 2022. Our first step is to solidify our project timeline and programming. It is important that we choose a timeline that works best for our participants’ and our own current commitments. And of course, we want to ensure that our programming successfully meets our goal of educating our young men in as many facets of the arts as possible. Next, we will work to finalize partnerships with youth organizations. There are many organizations in Lafayette that already have the time and attention of young men who would greatly benefit from our arts education program. We will coordinate visits and/or classes with the intention of recruiting participants for Creole Garçons. Lastly, in 2021 we are working to secure male professional artists to teach our workshops and mentor our young men. As three black women, we know the value of representation. Hence, we are adamant that the young men in our program work primarily with professionals who look like future versions of them.

We believe in the necessity and sustainability of this program. We are excited to begin working and look forward to impacting more boys in Acadiana. ART SAVES LIVES! Thanks again for your support!

Sincerely,
Leigha Porter and Jazmyn Jones
Team Creole Garçons

Mad Thinkers Update #1

Mad Thinkers Update #1

Dear Community,

Mad Thinkers are moving and grooving in our process of creating our interactive theatre workshop. We are currently in “scheduling mode,” meaning we are scheduling our writing sessions, and our first workshop with Big Brothers Big Sisters.

During 24 Hour Citizen Project, we met with Danielle Moroux. She is a previous recipient of 24HCP funding and has worked with children at New Hope for many years. We are working side by side with her to receive guidance and input to create a strong foundation for our program. She will assist both creatively and as an advisor.

Once we have our script written and ready, we will purchase sets, props, costumes and prepare to take our workshop on the road! We have a select group of instructors that will be trained and prepared to work with youth! We are on target to reach our goals and are excited to see the project come to life!

Our team would like to thank 24HCP and the community for the support we’ve received. We look forward to fulfilling our goals and serving the youth of Acadiana through our love of the arts!

Many thanks,
Allison Brandon & The Mad Thinkers

Saturday School Update #5

Saturday School Update #5

Dear Community,

As I mentioned during my prior Dear Community Letter, we were happy to announce that we successfully completed the GOT IT (Saturday School) program where we were able to provide a variety of educational programs to juniors and seniors. I also mentioned that we had remaining funds ($2,100) in the budget to spend on educational programs for the upcoming school year. To utilize the remaining funds, we’ve launched the “Building Literacy” program through The EdD Series. Details regarding the program are below:

The EdD Series Presents: Building Literacy
As an education non-profit, The EdD Series works with emerging organizations, schools, as well as stakeholders to improve the quality of education for minority students in low socioeconomic neighborhoods and schools. The EdD Series would like to work with J.W. Faulk Elementary School to promote student literacy and character development through the purchase of a children’s book for all students in grades Pre-K and Kindergarten. In addition to the purchase of the book, The EdD Series would like to involve prominent leaders in the Northside community to read the book(s) to each class as he/she encourages students to read.

The Objective: to increase literacy skills as well as students love for reading in grades Pre-K and Kindergarten.

The Plan: The EdD Series will provide all students in Kindergarten and Pre-K with a book to promote literacy skills as well as character development.

The Book: The following books have been chosen due to their content and reading level. Availability will determine which book(s) are chosen for purchase:

  1. All Are Welcome – Alexandra Penfold and Suzane Kaufman
  2. I am Human: A Book of Empathy – Susan Verde
  3. I Promise- Lebron James

The Cost: There will be no fee for the child nor the school. The book will be provided by The EdD Series to all students in grades Pre-K and Kindergarten

The Date and Time: We’re currently working out timelines, but will be determined soon by the principal at J.W. Faulk.

Thanks for your continued support, and we’ll continue to keep the community updated as things progress.

Dr. Brandi L. Clay
(Team Lead)