Area Youth to Explore Family and Community History Through
Oral Histories and Storytelling
CHICAGO – The Illinois Humanities Council is pleased to announce the expansion of their Humanities Youth Projects (HYPe) to Moline, Illinois. The IHC has partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of the Mississippi Valley to work with a group of elementary-age children from the Quad Cities area to conduct an oral history project utilizing theater and storytelling. Dr. Melissa McBain, Program Director, and Ms. Angela Rathman will incorporate their playwriting and acting skills in the development of the project.
Dr. McBain is an actor, playwright, and professor at Augustana College. She is also the Founder and Producer of the Quad City Playwrights Festival. Ms. Rathman teaches improvisational acting throughout the area. The program has been developed in consultation with Dr. Roald Tweet, Professor Emeritus of English at Augustana College and author and storyteller for the radio series “Rock Island Lines.” During the months of July and August, participants will learn about the history of the Mexican-American experience in the Quad Cities area through research on the Internet, guest lecturers, and workshops on music, storytelling, acting, and research strategies. In August, the youth will stage their oral histories and stories in a production entitled, “Making History: Staging Our Stories.”
Through HYPe, the Illinois Humanities Council develops and administers programs that provide a humanities-based educational experience outside of the classroom for youth while simultaneously helping them develop skills as humanist scholars. Targeted toward underserved youth, HYPe nurtures young people’s efforts to develop hands-on humanities programs by and for youth. All the projects also include an arts component, translating their scholarship into an artistic form that is accessible to their community.
“These programs are a way to engage young people in research in ways that their history classes cannot because the topics addressed are deeply personal to them,” explains Angel Ysaguirre, Director of Programs at the Illinois Humanities Council.
For descriptions of other humanities youth programs sponsored by the IHC throughout Illinois, as well as further information about the IHC, please contact us at 312.422.5580 or visit our website at www.prairie.org and click on “Programs.”
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