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Strengthening Youth Leadership

Transforms Communities
 

Are you the first in your family to: Grow up in this country? Graduate high school?
Go to college? Speak English? Be an activist? Be openly LGBT+? Be incarcerated?
Be drug free? Question your faith? Break a silence? Be an artist?
Are you First Generation?

First Generation brings together young adults ages 12-24 who identify as "first generation,” for intensive artistic training, leadership development, and inter-generational mentoring. Forming an artistic ensemble, members create original multi-lingual physical theater performances based on their conversations and discoveries.
First Generation members may be the first in their family to grow up in the United States, the first to speak English, to graduate high school, go to college, or many other firsts. Participants include youth recently arrived in this country and youth who are court-involved. First Generation Ensemble trains with professional artists, college, and graduate students. Community elders participate in our creative process by sharing their experiences and perspectives. We support each other, build on our strengths, cultivate ambition, and become leaders who build enduring, intercultural networks.

In First Generation, we talk about the complexity of embracing individuality while honoring one’s family and community cultures. The Ensemble creates compelling, high-quality performances that engage the public in dialog about critical social, cultural, and generational issues, such as how racism, economic oppression, bigotry, media, and violence can sever us from our cultural origins. Our performances also invite audiences to celebrate our connection and our full humanity through the arts. The work of First Generation is rooted in our belief that our cultural legacies and family histories are sources of strength as well as struggle, as we shape our own lives, our communities, and our futures.

Family and Community Celebrations
Several times a year First Gen hosts Family and Community Celebrations. They are wonderful Saturday afternoons of live music, dance, spoken word, poetry, theater and potluck meals. Family and Community Celebrations include performances by First Generation youth, family members, professional artists, and community members.

Adventures
First Generation youth attend theater and dance performances, cultural events and festivals in the Pioneer Valley, Vermont, Boston, New Haven and New York. We also climb mountains, pick apples and participate in leadership trainings!

First Generation is a partnership with the Teen Resource Project of The Care Center