organization, VOICES IN THE TREETOPS, Inc., Paula follows
a family tradition - mentoring other artists in the integration
of arts and social justice activism.
TREETOPS’ mission is to
give on-the-job training to elder and young artists alike.
She translates issues, goals, messages, etc. into singing,
dancing, story-telling, acting, or Image Theatre to enhance,
energize, and unite divided or competing individuals,
institutions and community service agencies. C.U.L.T.U.R.E.
Paula Larke, Director
Arts and Social Justice: Art in any
form, most decidedly the performing arts, can engage the entire
student and permit learning and retention on a deeper level.
Issues too explosive to contain in normal conversation become
manageable in the media of dance, drama, spoken word,
video/film, song. A solo on a single instrument with the right
message and presentation can change the emotional environment of
an entire school auditorium full of hormonally charged youth. Art evokes the spirit, and the spirit, emboldened, becomes
indomitable in the face of oppression. Art is also a common
language and bringing teenagers together to share in music
making, story sharing and art-creation allows for the
recognition that we are more alike than we are different. This
program creates space to share commonalities rather than focus
on differences. Peace is made through shared understanding.
after-school language and expressive arts enrichment
program based on character education curriculum.
activities focus on the effects of, and creative
alternatives to, violence in any form, including hostile
rivalries, gender or race based attacks, verbal
include: Role play, drumming, dancing. songwriting,
spoken word, power-point presentations, graphic arts,
music appreciation, dictionary creation, coffee-house
style open mic days.
and group theatre/conflict transformation exercises
designed to increase and enrich language arts skills for
American born and ESOL students, expand cultural
literacy for both.
Image Theatre, etc. is used to express rules of
speech in different cultures and vernacular while
discussing character values in each.
“Giving Honor, Seeking Blessing” ceremony/ open mic /
featured performance and dinner event for family and