Through the leadership of our incredible education and community engagement team, stories and storytelling are an important part of our work at the Orpheum. With the belief that everyone has a story and everyone’s story has value. Through programs like Listen Up! and From Where I Stand (part of the Orpheum’s ACTS of Engagement), Mid-South students have shared their stories through live theatrical performance or a documentary.
With everything going on, our team hopes to continue to engage community by calling out to Memphians to share their story virtually through an array of art forms. A couple of these engagement activities are listed below.
Creative Challenge: Digital Edition
In an effort to share stories and create art during this challenging time, our teaching artists will introduce prompts each week as inspiration to exercise your creativity and build community through social media.
Each prompt will center on IMPACT, the theme currently being explored in one of our ACTs of Engagement programs, Listen Up!. Every week, a teaching artist will provide a creative challenge to explore an art form using the impact you see in your community, neighborhood, and home as the jumping off point. The video prompts will be introduced on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube every Tuesday at noon with a submission deadline of Thursday at noon. Each Friday at noon, a sampling of the offerings will be shown on the Orpheum’s social media platforms. After a few weeks, submissions will be assembled into a digital collage and shared.
Here is this week’s prompt. Your deadline is Thursday, noon.
In Their Shoes
Every week in April, we’ll be sharing interviews with alumni of the Orpheum’s education and community programs. These interviews will be facilitated by members of our student advisory board STAR Council. Follow their journeys from Memphis to their careers in the performing arts around the country. We’ll hear about their experiences after leaving high school, what steps it took to get that first job, advice for the time between gigs, and life lessons from their array of experiences. Up first was Travis Blackwell, who participated in our summer camps and interned with us. He tells us what it’s like to be in the room where it happens as a stage manager for HAMILTON in San Francisco. Watch these interviews each Thursday at noon on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
In the Listen Up! program, participants collaborate in storytelling by making documentary films. Differing from traditional “questionnaire only” documentaries, Listen Up! engages participants from partnering organizations in a journey of self-discovery by using a variety of creative activities and artistic mediums. From science experiments, music, and community service, to writing, painting, dancing or any other combination of inventive activities, students investigate their own personal perspectives and are filmed sharing their stories in their own words.
Listen Up! makes space for participants to speak openly, to listen deeply, to operate equipment, to perform post-production editing, and to create soundtrack recordings, exposing students to various aspects of filming, both on and off camera.