Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Young Adults Speak Out Artistic Expression Event

In February of 2009 a new emerging community in Lockport, Illinois tried something new. We sat in a circle with about a dozen teens with some pizza and talked about what they wanted this community to become. It started off with radical inclusiveness - something like "Pizza Party meets group therapy" and we talk about life's issues honestly and openly. This new group of teens and young adults became known as YASO (Young Adults Speak Out)

This Saturday, June 12, the University of St Francis at 500 Wilcox Street in Joliet will be sponsoring YASO's first artistic expression fund raiser in their main auditorium from 7 until 10 PM. There is no admission fee and the auditorium seats 250 people. Teens and young adults will be expressing themselves through interpretive dance, song, slam poetry, and monologues on stage. In the lobby area there will be paintings, sketchings, and photography on display reflecting the hearts of a generation. In between performances, anonymous letters written by teens and young adults in the area will be read aloud. These are stories of pain, darkness and hope.

This is YASO's first engagement in their Society's Forgotten Children Silent no More campaign. The messages they want to send through their art regards:

  1. Real Life
  2. Hurt and Pain
  3. Acceptance
  4. How society Treats Them
  5. Criminally and Sexually Abused Children
  6. Change
  7. Profiling and Assumptions
  8. Family, Friends, Cutting, Death, and other real life topics they live with every day.
  9. Trust
  10. Hope and Grace
The people they want to hear this message are:

  1. Adults
  2. People With the Power to Affect Change
  3. Parents
  4. "Perfect Life People"
  5. Judgmental Bastards
  6. Teachers
  7. Fellow Freaks
  8. Doubters
  9. People who are like "Rawr"
  10. Pastors and Churches
  11. The Hopeless
  12. People who are hurting
  13. Those in Society who NEED to hear what they don’t want to hear.
Due to the nature of some of the content, it may not be appropriate for people under the age 13.

The most important aspect of this event is for their voice to be heard and the message of their hearts shared. In regards to fundraising, there will be an opportunity to donate and much of the physical artwork will be up for silent auction. All YASO folks are unpaid volunteers and all proceeds are used for relief supplies and resources for teens and young adults with needs.

For more information about the event, please contact Patrick Green at 815-905-0185 or email him at patrick (at) lifebridgeonline (dot) org.

For more information about the YASO story, please check out our article on the Emergent Village Weblog.