Calling all teens! You, or your school’s poetry club, can now register to participate in ImmortALL, a historic teen poetry project!

Teens With a Purpose (TWP), a local youth empowerment organization internationally recognized for their poets and poetry workshops, is partnering with the Virginia Beach History Museums and Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Alumni and Friends Association (PACTS/UKHS) for a second year of the project. The partnership invites Hampton Roads teens to learn about local African American history while discovering the lively art of performance poetry!

In ImmortALL, performance poetry and social change meet oral history, including from those who lived through the civil rights movement, in this unique program. Area teens (from age 13-19) will connect with alumni from PACTS/UKHS, as well as professional poets from TWP. In regular sessions from October 2021 through April 2022, teens will engage in TWP’s signature virtual performance poetry workshops, meet PACTS/UKHS alumni from the classes of 1943-1969 , learn more about the Virginia Beach History Museums’ Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Museum and, conditions permitting, have an opportunity to meet and rehearse at the museum. ImmortALL teens will display their re-interpretations of local oral history, through the lens of their own experiences with current events, in a final public performance in April 2022.

“Teens With a Purpose celebrates the African tradition of storytelling through performance poetry during ImmortALL poetry workshops for teens and The Hampton Roads Youth Poet Laureate Program,” said Deirdre Love, Executive Director of Teens With a Purpose. “The ImmortALL journey allows young people to hear the stories, told by the living legends, those who attended the first high school in Virginia Beach for African Americans. Young people take inspiration from the workshops and interviews to create meaningful response poems - making them immortal.”

Teens participating in the program will have the opportunity to work towards a goal of immortalizing the ideals and history of the community that built PACTS/UKHS, while sounding the call for further understanding, equity, and social change.

Teens, teachers, and poetry clubs can register to participate in the program, and view the full workshop schedule, here: DOWNLOAD REGISTRATION FORMS

TWP workshops are supported in part by funding from the Virginia Beach Arts & Humanities Commission..
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