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First Place residency
Since February 2021, I have been acting as the artist in residence at First Place, an apartment complex with "supportive housing for adults with autism, Down syndrome and other neurodiversities." In Spring 2021, I deepened the relationship building portion of this creative partnership and facilitated weekly theatre games sessions--most of them based
around a song from a musical or musical movie suggested by the residents. In Fall 2021 and Spring 2022, I have been overseeing a co-production of The Wizard of Oz (YPE) with First Place. Residents offered feedback in Spring 2021 that they wanted to do a production, so I worked with First Place and the residents to collectively select a musical for us to produce. In April 2022, we performed at Phoenix Center for the Arts with 8 residents performing and a collective total of 7 ASU graduate & undergraduate students on the design & production team. After the success of this process, the residents, First Place staff, and I agreed on or interest to pursue work on a second production the following year. We identified a few near areas for growth--including expanding the production team & consideration of ASU students in the project proposal, more intentionally centering mutual support in the process, and smoothing a few logistical procedures.
Two of the most rewarding but perhaps unexpected aspects of this residency involved the time spent (1) investing in the growth of the partnership and (2) mentoring undergraduate community-based student artists. Because I had the opportunity to begin this residency from the beginning (outside of a short pilot program before I started at ASU), I learned much about the processing of building trust, and I found it useful to employ many community-engaged arts practices such as regular evluation, incorporation of stakeholder input, asset mapping, and "moving at the speed of trust." Furthermore, working with undergraduate ASU students offered key opportunities to offer insight on some of these community-based artist skills both by leading through exaples and through structured check-ins to evaluate their progress, discuss learning goals, and adapt the process to their needs as well.
Below are some process photos from rehearsals & sessions at First Place:
Below are some production photos from The Wizard of Oz YPE:
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