In 1994, the first Teen Choir Explosion took place and for ten years we produced an annual free fine arts conference for ages 13-19. This program consisted of week long workshops for choir, dance, drama, and mime.
Fine Arts are a universal language that crosses cultural lines, enabling people to work together. We select African American, Caucasian and Hispanic clinicians to help bring diversity to the material the teens are exposed to. There are nightly rehearsals, discussions, door prizes, food, fun and fellowship. There is an open mic forum that gives the teens an opportunity to voice any concerns or problems they have faced and receive guidance on how to deal with these situations and others they may face in life. There is also a conference speaker who shares with them about how to deal with prejudice, racism and hatred. The food and fellowship allow them the opportunity to make new friends and form relationships that could last a lifetime.
The program will conclude with a dynamic concert showcasing the teens’ dedication to unity, working hard to learn songs in other languages, dance and mime routines that challenge their abilities and dramatic presentations that cause them to think. At the concert, several awards are distributed, most notably the awarding of a $1000 college scholarship to the winner of the essay contest. In 2018, we brought the workshop back for a whole new generation starting with 11 year olds and continuing to adults who believe in the tenets of the activity.