Since 2004, we have been working with children of Olneyville, one of Providence’s lowest-income neighborhoods. The program is modeled after The 52nd Street Project in New York, and engages young people starting in third grade outside of the school setting. MAP programs enhance learning (writing, logic, etc) through playwriting. All the programs are free for participating children and all the shows are free for audiences.
All of the work we do partners youth with adults in mentorship relationships, engages under-resourced children and enhances their learning (of writing, logic, theatre and English, even social studies and science) through playwriting. MAP improves the quality of Olneyville kids’ lives in myriad ways, by providing a safe, fun place to go during out-of-school time, offering a creative space where their ideas are respected and their success is expected. By respecting kids’ ideas and presenting those ideas to public audiences, we are growing their resilience and improving their self-efficacy, both indicators that lead to long-term successes in adulthood.
Programming For Ages 8-18
Our programs include a variety of experiences, including out-of-school classes that culminate in intensive playwriting weekends (see our Programs page). Children are paired with their own dramaturgy mentor to develop their very own plays. The plays written during these weekends are then professionally produced with the help of adult directors, actors, and designers from the vibrant arts community in Providence. Presenting the plays to the public help kids value their voices.
Programs and classes partner children with adults in a mentorship relationship, and the MAP Clubhouse provides a safe and fun place for kids outside of school, offering a creative space where their ideas are respected and their success expected. The new clubhouse allows us to have a more visible presence in the Olneyville community.
These are intensive playwriting retreats that take place off site, often at New Urban Arts who donates use of their space, as the culmination of each of our playwriting classes. During these weekends, each playwright is matched with her or his very own dramaturgy mentor (playwriting advisor who often also serves as the director of the play) who assists the playwright through the process of completing a short play around the theme introduced in the class. At the end of each day, playwrights share their work and hear feedback from their classmates.
For our summer Dialogue class, playwriting weekend takes place during a four day retreat to Camp Ogontz in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, where the young people and their “grown-up” partners work together to write a two person play, which they will both perform later in the month in Providence. Camp Ogontz’s bucolic setting offers a new perspective for writing, and lots of time for relaxation and play – canoeing, swimming, and hiking in the woods are daily activities.
MAP is really proud to be included in Olneyville’s Health Equity Zonethree-year-grant through the RI Department of Health. The Olneyville Health Equity Zone seeks to address health disparities in Olneyville caused by social and environmental factors and envisions a neighborhood that can truly thrive with healthy people, a healthy environment, and a healthy economy that offers opportunities to all. We are collaborating with our HEZ partners to make these visions a reality in Olneyville.