Several examples worldwide have shown the profound and wide-ranging impacts that place-based arts initiatives can have on the social, cultural, and economic life of communities, addressing issues such as discrimination, social inequity, or crime.
EAST YARD is following this template and is so being created to serve as a community hub to connect and engage the local community on a regular and ongoing basis. A physical outdoor, multi-purpose space managed by the Caribbean Fashion and Arts Feature Festival, EAST YARD is an initiative that has brought together other creative entities such as V2 Marketing, Art on Purpose Dance Studio and Showroom and others to work on programming that can be executed at the space to create new opportunities for the local community by championing creativity in all its forms.
Caribbean Fashion and Arts Feature Festival has transformed an unused backyard of a commercial building into a pioneering space.
Amenities On Site:
1. Open air work space
2. 12 x 10 performance stage
3. 10 x 12 outdoor screen
3. Outdoor Seating capacity for 50
4. Outdoor Standing room capacity 150
5. Indoor-working/event space
6. Art on Purpose Dance Studio and Showroom
7. Other amenities on the premises include a beauty salon, graphic & print shop, local fashion boutique & art gallery and a music studio & school.
"Healing Art is being born as we speak. The concept is catching fire, is awakening in people's spirits…Artists, musicians and dancers are realizing their imagery has meaning…that their imagery heals them, others, their neighbourhood, or the earth." - Michael Samuels
The mission of the EAST YARD project is to make a positive difference in the community by investing time, resources and skills to firstly transform the raw back yard and then utilize for into ongoing community projects that integrate art while seeking solutions to solving social ills by demonstrating how creativity can be a catalyst for positive change within communities.
With this in mind EAST YARD has decided to specifically focus on developing and implementing innovative strategies that are transformational rather than therapeutic for preventing, stopping and healing violence in communities in East Trinidad (Toco to Tunapuna).
Programs will include community events, exhibitions, and education that introduce young people aged 15-25 to innovative ideas and tools for addressing violence at all levels of society.
We plan to initiate two programs to counter the crippling effects of violence in our communities through the creative process. EAST YARD’s programs will integrate training in the performing arts disciplines—acting, improvisation, dance, movement, voice, singing, and playwriting— and training in the visual arts disciplines - ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, design, crafts, photography, video, filmmaking, and textile design into a creative process that allows youth to examine their experiences and identities in relation to the social forces shaping their lives and fostering violence in their communities.
EAST YARD Narrate
EAST YARD Narrate is a six-month intensive program that takes youth participants on a journey to discover their personal narratives using performing arts tools in the “safe space” of the rehearsal room to mediate conflicts and learn to work together to achieve a common goal and shared vision. Participants will develop their “voice” on important personal and issues around violence and gain critical communication skills, bringing a new perspective to their families, friends, and communities and working to effect positive change. And, they build a critically important community together to address their challenges and support their aspirations.
To achieve these outcomes, participants in will with the support of professional performance artists, work together to write, produce, and perform an original musical theatre production about their lives, ideas for change and ending violence in their lifetimes. Performances will be held at EAST YARD and proceeds will be remitted to the project.
EAST YARD Illustrate
EAST YARD Illustrate is a six-month intensive program that works to reveal the power of expression to uplift and transform through the use of visual arts. This program offers guided facilitation employing principles of communication, connection and transformation through the use of visual arts while holding a safe and non-judgmental space for youth to freely express their creativity and share experiences.
Many of the sessions will intertwine guided creative writing prompts along with visual art projects, bridging a powerful connection between both left and right brain cognition and will include appearances from local professional guest artists and international artists in residence at EAST YARD to offer further inspiration and connection with members of the local art community working together to produce a group visual art exhibition chronicling their lives, ideas for change and ending violence in their lifetimes. The exhibition will be held at EAST YARD and a portion of proceeds will be remitted to the project.
EAST YARD the magazine, is a monthly free, print and digital magazine that will be distributed online and across East Trinidad providing an additional platform for independent business ventures to gain added exposure, share stories of hope from Eastern communities, and chronicle our work on the project.
More than anything else we want EAST YARD to be a true beacon of community spirit, a place for learning and a conduit for making art and culture accessible to all. Funded through advertising revenue, a portion of proceeds will be remitted to the project.