by butch | Aug 9, 2022 | Blog, Creole Garsons
We have exciting news! We have selected our inaugural class of Creole Garsons and their mentors. And guess what? We have exceeded our goal of 10 garsons and now have 11! Wow! This summer, we hosted two virtual meetings with the boys where they were introduced to most of the mentors. During these meetings their mentors shared a little about themselves and their art disciplines. This year, we have 7 talented and wonderful professionals that are joining us as mentors. These individuals include a journalist, photographer, videographer, visual artist, music producer, creative designer, and dancer/youth mentor specialist!
This Saturday we will have our in person retreat from 10am – 3pm. At the retreat each of the mentors will present an interactive lesson in their area of expertise. The participants will then choose two disciplines to complete an apprenticeship under their mentors for the following months. From September to November, the garsons will meet with mentors 1 – 2x each month. We also plan to complete community service hours and a whole group arts-based field trip.
Our total budget was $3300. Our funds are from 24 Hour Citizen Project ($2500) and The Creole Nutcracker. With these funds we will pay our mentors as they are also operating as teaching artists and must be compensated for their sessions at the retreat as well as the monthly meet ups with their mentees. We are also supplying our garsons with t-shirts. We have recently expanded our budget to $4000 as we had more edits than anticipated for our logo and also have to account for the additional young man joining our program! Our current budget covers costumes for any garsons who may choose dance as their discipline. Their apprenticeship will consist of attending rehearsals and performing as a cast member of The 5th Anniversary Creole Nutcracker. We are also covering field trip expenses for our whole group trip to Studio Be in New Orleans. We hope to still come in under budget by the end of the program. We will work to be much closer to our original budget. Thankfully, Kelsey Sanders of Eat, Fuel, Fleurish has agreed to sponsor lunch for all of our mentors and mentees for our retreat. One of our goals is to convince more community leaders and business owners along the way to contribute their resources to our program and help us pour into the leaders of our future.
In the coming months, our goal is to document the boys’ experience, so that we can share these moments with you all! We also need confirmation from Studio Be for our requested dates. We truly believe in the power of exposure to the arts. We know when a child believes and knows who they are they can boldly go into the world ready and prepared. The arts have the power to do that and so much more.
Thanks for all of your support! Team Creole Garsons
by mark | May 19, 2022 | Blog, Creole Garsons
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!
Team Creole Garçons
by butch | Dec 19, 2021 | Blog, Creole Garsons
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!
Leigha Porter and Jazmyn Jones
Team Creole Garçons