Urban Youth Literary Arts program
For 17 years the Urban Youth Literary Arts Program has worked with Milwaukee Public Schools and youth-enrichment organizations like UWM Talent Search to bring multi-arts education to students who may not otherwise have access to it. With our strong network of artists and writers developed over the years, we are able to offer hands-on, multi-arts education year-round.
The UYLAP provides year-round humanities, arts, and literature programming to MPS students. The UYLAP currently serves Franklin Pierce Elementary School and Hopkins Lloyd Community School students during community learning center hours throughout the school year and in the summer. In a series of themed projects that build upon one another, students read and discuss literature and create writing and artwork pertaining to multiple topics in the humanities exploring identity, heritage, and culture. The UYLAP also host inter-arts summer poetry camp. Camps include meals, workshops, guest artists, field trips and a student led community poetry reading.
After-School and Summer Community Learning Center Hours
Both after school and summer community learning center hours consist of themed projects lasting 4-8 weeks. Students engage in hands-on literary activities to empower and develop their communication and critical thinking skills. Using literature to explore identity and a variety of humanistic ideals, students critically examine the world around them.
The program is designed to be versatile, intriguing, fun and educational. Projects include workshops such as:
- I Write My Life: Illustrated Memoirs;
- Animals, Bodies, and Movement: Exploring Poetic Forms;
- Food, Culture, and Edible Books;
- Storytelling Through Song; and
- Objects and Artifacts: History and Culture Through the Arts.
Our programming seeks to intentionally strengthen inter-student and student-to-staff relationships as well as help students better express themselves through writing, performance and the inter-disciplinary arts.
Community Learning Center staff, guest artists, teachers, Woodland Pattern staff and students all complete the same activities and share together to develop relationships and build a sense of community.
Inter-Arts Poetry Camps
Our Urban Youth Literary Arts Program also offers two inter-arts poetry camps each summer. Each poetry camp is a week-long day camp serving 20 students each week. Encouraged to think critically, students respectfully engage with one another's ideas by creating collaborative poems and critiquing each other’s writing.
Writing teachers, who are also working artists, present poetry from a wide range of literary traditions and cultural and artistic backgrounds by facilitating discussion to identify techniques, aesthetic choices, and structural components, thus employing active learning techniques. Instructors focus on each student's work with attention to language skills and artistic intent. As students learn clear criteria for evaluating writing, they strengthen communication skills and are inspired to work with language.
Guest artist workshops activate connections between writing and other arts. For example, in a drum circle, students learn how rhythms work together, how words carry rhythm and how rhythm affects writing. Each day also includes a visit to a community organization, such as Milwaukee Art Museum or Lynden Sculpture Garden. Often, these field trips include hands-on learning experiences, such as screen-printing their poetry on t-shirts at RedLine Milwaukee.Notebooks in hand, students investigate the environment, write, and share their writing.
On the last day of camp, families and friends come to Woodland Pattern to hear the youth read their writing. Students challenge their verbal skills, using their newly acquired performance tools to build self-confidence. Students receive a group anthology, an audio recording of their writing, and books from the Woodland Pattern bookstore to build their home libraries so they can continue building creativity and language skills year-round.
for More information
If you have any questions, please contact Jessi, our Education Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 414.263.5001. You can also visit our blog for UYLAP updates, photos, poetry and latest news.