After months of practice and creative growth, Hampton Roads teens will put their talents on display during the finale of ImmortALL: A Performance Poetry Project, which will stream live from the Schola at Renaissance Academy April 17 at 6:00 p.m. on the Teens With a Purpose (TWP) YouTube and Facebook accounts!
This program is the result of a partnership between the Virginia Beach History Museums (VBHM), Princess Anne Country Training School/Union Kempsville High School Alumni and Friends Association (PACTS/UKHS) and TWP, inviting Hampton Roads teens to learn about local African American history while learning the lively art of performance poetry!
During the April 17 program, TWP will also announce the 2021 Hampton Roads Youth Poet Laureate. TWP accepted submissions from young poets, rappers, leaders, and activists ages 14-19 from across Hampton Roads who were interested in representing the region as the Hampton Roads Youth Poet Laureate. The Hampton Roads Youth Poet Laureate is part of the National Youth Poet Laureate Network.
In ImmortALL, performance poetry and modern social change meet oral history and the civil rights movement in this unique program. Virginia Beach teens from age 13-19 connected with alumni from PACTS/UKHS, as well as professional poets from TWP. In monthly sessions from October 2020 through April 2021, teens engaged with PACTS/UKHS alumni from the classes of 1943-1969 , learned more about the Virginia Beach History Museums’ Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Museum and attended TWP performance poetry workshops. During the final performance, teens will display their re-interpretations of local oral history through the lens of their own experiences with current events.
“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 allowed 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 listened then translated their stories into response poems - making them immortal.”
Poetry workshops for ImmortALL aimed to help students explore the stories shared by PACTS/UKHS alumni, as well as their own experiences. Teens worked 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. Videos from the monthly workshops are available for viewing on the Teens With a Purpose YouTube channel.
TWP workshops are supported in part by funding from the Virginia Beach Arts & Humanities Commission.
ABOUT TEENS WITH A PURPOSE:  Teens With a Purpose was formed in 1996 by Deirdre Love. In 2007, Teens With a Purpose became TWP-The Youth Movement a 501(c) (3) non-profit youth development organization. The organization is celebrating over 21 years of experience in providing peer leadership training and has been recognized both regionally and nationally.
OUR MISSION is to create a platform that empowers young people to use their voice, creativity, reflection and action to affect personal growth, transform lives and impact communities.
TWP intersects youth development practices; civic engagement, peer leadership and high quality artistic presentation creating safe inclusive spaces that challenge young people to find, develop, publicly present and apply their voices as creators of positive social change. TWP is committed to developing young leaders who positively impact their neighbors, classmates, schools, governments, congregations and one another.
POSITIVE TRENDSETTERS! We are making a difference every day in thousands of young peoples’ lives. Teens With a Purpose engages every young person in peer-led projects, programs and events that help them develop personal power. TWP creates opportunities for youth to succeed, influence others and to partake in various arts and humanities programs that culminate in a public performance or exhibition designed to help build self-esteem and self-efficacy.
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