In August of 2013, YPT was thrilled to learn that we won a $50,000 grant that enabled us to partner with Detroit-based InsideOut Literary Arts Project (iO) and Meridian Hill Pictures (MHP) to work with youth in DC and Detroit. Thanks to the Theatre Communications Group and the Metlife/TCG A-ha! Program: Think It, Do It, YPT, MHP, and iO are using state of the art audiovisual equipment to connect a classroom in Detroit to a classroom in DC to facilitate a cultural exchange of playwriting, poetry and media arts this spring.
The project is called The 524 Project, which refers to the 524 miles that separate Ballou Senior High School in DC and Western International High School in Detroit. The 524 Project will allow high school students to rewrite the narrative about their cities and share their stories with students and adults around the country.
In October, YPT and MHP staff visited Detroit to begin the exciting process of creating a co-curriculum with iO. Local media covered the story, and you can follow the project’s Tumblr page for behind the scenes photos, videos, quotes and stories from the project. This spring, we will be streaming content from the classroom on the Tumblr, sharing our students’ work and posting other exclusive content as young artists rewrite the narratives about their cities, break boundaries and create art that inspires.
“Both Detroit and DC loom large in the national imagination,” says YPT Artistic Director Nicole Jost. “We hear stories about these two cities all the time. What we want to do is empower these young people—the city’s residents—to tell the stories of their own communities. Our hope is that they will challenge and inspire each other, as well as the rest of the country.”