This is a time for us as community members to come change the narrative about clarksdale. We will all be meeting at Meraki Roasting for free coffee. Starting from there, we will create groups to move strategically through town cleaning up trash. We do not expect to clean it all up in one day, so we hope to make this a regular event.
This is a great time to serve your community.
Saturday, September 8, 2018.
7:00 at Meraki Coffee Roasters (ends at 11:00 am)
About Griot Arts:
The Griot Youth Program teaches students to be storytellers and culture makers, educating
students through music, media arts, and dance classes. In 2018-2019, GYP focused its
programming on educating students on the specific historical and cultural richness of the
Mississippi Delta through blues and gospel music as well as visual and oral storytelling.
Students learned how modern music is rooted in the Delta Blues/gospel. This focus on
historical as well as modern local music traditions gave our students a holistic music education.
In 2019-2020 the students will refine the performance from the previous year, building
performance skills. They will also produce a series of podcasts made up of the interviews that
they conducted with community members focusing on the music of the community.
Students are accepted into the Griot Youth Program during the summertime by filling out a
detailed application, coming to a parent/student interview with the program director, and in some cases, performing an audition for an advanced ensemble or program. After being accepted into the program, students attend two to three days each week of excellent arts instruction. Students are asked to pay $10 each month for classes. Staff picks up students from school, provide snacks, and conduct circle time each day to improve communication skills as well as engage students in thought-provoking conversation and vocabulary development.
Most of our students enter the program as elementary or middle school students, going through our foundational arts classes and graduating to advanced classes as they enter high school. Over 90% of our students come from schools that are eligible for Title 1 funding and are in dire need of artistic enrichment and the confidence and discipline that the arts instill in youth. The program is available to any student in the area in need of an artistic outlet. GYP is committed to not only giving students an excellent arts education, but also to providing pathways to college and careers through the arts and creative industry. Classes are designed with college scholarships and job preparedness as an end goal. Students are given access to educational tutors, ACT classes, and are given employment opportunities through the organization.
Although our local schools strive diligently to provide a strong arts-based curriculum, they often have limited access to resources, qualified personnel, and time. We partner with the Clarksdale school district to fill these gaps and provide Clarksdale youth with the life-changing opportunities that arts enrichment provides. GYP is committed to building our students’ confidence, discipline, and technical skill that can later provide pathways to college and careers in the creative industry. Classes are designed with college scholarships and job preparedness as an end goal. We blend our robust arts programming with educational tutoring, ACT classes, and employment opportunities.