American Actors Help Roma Children and Youth Boost Their Creativity

On Saturday, July 5th, 2014, three artists from the Dramatic Adventure Theatre (DAT) in New York, the USA arrived to Košice to deliver interactive art workshops to children and youth from the marginalized Roma settlement Budulovská in Moldava nad Bodvou.

It was three years ago, when for the first time, actors from DAT visited Eastern Slovakia and delivered their first interactive art workshop to children and young people from marginalized Roma communities.

Since then, artists from DAT, in cooperation with ETP Slovakia, have been coming to deliver art workshops to marginalized Roma settlements regularly every summer.

Firstly, the idea behind the interactive art workshops is to spur personal growth of Roma children and youth from deprived communities by inspiring them to think and express their feelings and thoughts publicly in an artistic way. Throughout the workshops the participants are encourage to reflect on different happenings in their life, both joyful and sorrowful, and to transfer their feelings into acting. Classes also facilitate team work and cooperation, as all individual stories must be smoothly put together into one coherent piece. Accordingly, all members of the artistic workshop are not only personally growing and gaining confidence but are also learning to respect, work with, and listen to, people around them.

Secondly, the workshops are designed to promote the uniqueness and colourfulness of Roma history and culture. Dedicated American actors from DAT combine their acting and play-writing experience with knowledge on rich Roma cultural heritage and encourage the participants to create their own play using personal experiences and life perceptions. Workshops are aimed to help children and youngsters to notice and appreciate distinctiveness of their Roma background and embrace all aspects of it. The long term goal is to help them to become proud of their Roma origin which would benefit their personal wellbeing, as well as the quality of social life of the community.

This year the interactive art workshops are being delivered to two groups of Roma children and young people from the Budulovská settlement in Moldava nad Bodvou. American actors will spend two weeks working with the participants on their acting skills and help them to create a play that will be publicly performed on the July 18th, 2014.

Straight from the beginning, the actors were fascinated to work with Roma kids and youth who were displaying unusual level of spontaneity and naturalness necessary for high level performance.

The ART4Rom project has been funded with the support
from the European Commission.