The Mountain Times

°F Wed, April 23, 2014

Central Vermont's Most Popular Weekly Newspaper

SafeArt comes to the Upstairs Gallery

Sunday March 25 at 2 p.m. Killington Arts Guild will present the SafeArt Teen Ensemble in a program of song, dance, poetry and storytelling as part of the annual meeting. The meeting will be in the Upstairs Gallery at Cabin Fever Gifts on Route 4 opposite the Killington Access Road. The public is encouraged to attend. 

Laura Wilder, a member of the KAG Board of Directors, first brought SafeArt to the Guilds attention. Ann Wallen, KAG past-president, attended the performance last year was equally impressed with the ten boys and girls, ages 16-18 who performed with confidence and talent. "They shared their personal experiences by sharing their art with us."
SafeArt was founded in 2000 by Tracy Penfield who was asked to direct a piece on domestic violence featuring women. SafeArt was born from that presentation. Shortly thereafter, the teen ensemble was started, which particularly effective because young people and adults listen attentively to teenagers and believe what they say about their experiences.

The current teenagers in the ensemble are from Randolph and Chelsea, Vermont.  All are high school students and talented musicians and actors. The pieces they present were created during SafeArt residences in high schools, workshop for  Women's groups and  past and current ensemble groups.

Members of the 2012 ensemble say:

"It is important to be able to relate to others, it makes being a teen easier, to know that other teens are going through the same things you are-we never know how many lives we have touched." ~ Serenity

"...We raise adult awareness of the struggles of being a teen, and let teens know they are not alone." ~ Chet

The teen ensemble talks about issues during rehearsals and grows through the experience, performance and discussions with the audience. Topics include: bullying, sexual violence, self-harm and body image.

Humor is used to balance serious subjects and to stress the possibility and importance of bystanders who are proactive in ending violence; Perpetrators and victims are not the only people involved in any abusive situation.

SafeArt engages the transformative power of the arts to prevent and heal abuse and other trauma. Join us and meet these extraordinary young people.

For More on KAG: www.killingtonartsguild.org; for this column vtkag@aol.com

Tagged: KAG, SafeArt