In the wake of recent events where young people across the nation have felt the need to stand up and be heard regarding the injustices they see prevalent in the world around them, Teen Writers and Artists Project (T-WAAP) and Naperville’s Nichols Library have decided to partner together to create a safer/braver space for young people to come together and explore their thoughts and opinions in a creative way.
Each month, T-WAAP gathers young people in three different communities along the Fox Valley to write, share, & experience art celebrating themselves and their communities. In these spaces, they are given the opportunity to experience the power and joy in their worlds alongside the acceptance of the struggles they live with daily. "When we say 'Speak Your Truth' we really mean it," said Diana Zwinak, T-WAAP's founder and artistic director.
At 6:30pm on April 20th, T-WAAP will expand its WordPlay program to host teens in two sites simultaneously -- Nichols Library and T-WAAP’s headquarters at Imago Creative Studios in Elgin-- linking them through livefeed.
The Naperville event will be hosted and facilitated by T-WAAP’s Adam Gottlieb, featured in Siskel Jacob's award winning 2009 Louder Than a Bomb documentary, and the Elgin Event will be run by Corey Dillard, teaching artist and author of poetry chapbook, That One Black Kid. Gottlieb and Dillard will moderate a writers workshop designed to elicit an engaging and thought-provoking brainstorm and discussion, leading to a chance to explore thoughts and feelings that arise about the issue. Participants will then be given time to write.
At 7:30pm, an open mic begins. Young people are invited to bring previously created music, beats, poetry, or other writing to share, provided the piece is no longer than 3-5 minutes, or they may share the piece they created in the workshop.
Following the open mic, a featured spoken word artist or musician will share their works and thoughts, and answer questions about their process, productions, or anything else of interest. The feature for April 20th will be announced soon.
There is no charge for admission, and all are welcome to attend. T-WAAP and the Naperville Public Library intend to continue this partnership at least through May in the Community Room of the Nichols Library in the heart of downtown Naperville.
Information on features for other dates/locations and more information about T-WAAP is available at www.twaap.org. Any questions may be directed to artistic director Diana Zwinak at email@example.com or by phone at 630-677-8735.