Banner Art: Photo of audience at performance reception, Towne Art Gallery, Wheelock College, 2016
Mattapan Teen Center (MTC), Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston
Media: Photography, music, silk screen
Adult Mentor: Devin Ferreira
BU Wheelock Student Liaisons:
Erin Whitman and Kariym Azeez
Ronald, Karen, Clark, Sam and Jamaal and the many youth at MTC who contributed their time, energy and support to help create these projects!
Age Range: 13-17
There have been many moving pieces throughout this creative arts project at the Mattapan Teen Center. The enthusiastic cohort of youth came up with many ideas and eventually decided to break up into two main groups to create both a music CD and a silk screened t-shirt. Several youth took the lead on the design process but the ink printing process involved the majority of the MTC members and was a great display of community.
To conceptualize their pieces they brainstormed what Ubuntu meant to them in their various communities and what that would look like. The puzzle pieces on the front of the shirts represent the togetherness and community partnership of MTC and Wheelock for the Ubuntu Arts Project. The back of the shirts had personal meaning for the youth designing them, “We chose the quote because at MTC, and as teenagers, we face plenty of obstacles. We know and understand that in order to succeed, you have to always be willing to fight an upward battle.”
The music group included many teen center members throughout the process, and all contributed to the music making with input on production and/or lyrics and recording. New members worked side by side with others who had experience with Ubuntu Arts and the studio. Combined, the youth brought great perspectives and creative ideas to the table and they worked together in a way that was productive and enriching!
Two of the songs recorded by the music group can be heard here (Tougher Where We’re From; I'm A Do It) and all four songs were performed at the Ubuntu Arts reception. All songs were produced and created entirely by the group in the spirit of Ubuntu and community.