Using the Arts to Build Stronger Communities

by Northlight Theatre

We’re halfway through the school year and Northlight’s Education programs are going strong! Speak Up, Northlight’s signature theatre for social change program, helps students learn how to use the arts to build stronger communities – a fitting program for today’s circumstances! Here is a snapshot of just some of the programs running now: 


Connecting through Disconnection

While our middle school groups at Legacy Charter School finish this month, we’ve added a 4th Grade residency which is just beginning! Every one of our residencies is customized for the needs of the school and the students. For Legacy’s 4th grade scholars, we’ll celebrate their resilience and creativity and explore how they can combat the challenges of isolation and distractions that have impacted their community this year. How can we connect when we have to be disconnected?


Change Starts Here

Artwork from a Speak Up student at Mansueto High School

A phenomenal group of Mansueto High School students completed their eight-week Speak Up residency with a moving video presentation entitled Change Starts with Mansueto. The students described the piece in their own words:

After a long year of political unrest and isolation due to the pandemic, we have a lot on our minds. We hope that by sharing our personal experiences through poetry and artwork, others will be inspired to do so. If we listen and practice empathy, we can strengthen our community at Mansueto and inspire positive change in the world.


Coming Together

Northlight’s first ever Speak Up Summit will bring together students from across our partnerships. The summit will include panels and workshops that students can join in real time or via recordings, depending on their individual school schedule. The summit will encourage schools to participate by allowing for flexible schedules that accommodate their needs. We’re working to ensure that these virtual programs meet the accessibility needs of our students including closed captioning and ASL interpretation. Though the school year continues to throw curveballs at students, teachers, and school administrators, our Speak Up planning team of teaching artists and Northlight staff continues to adapt and build this exciting event!