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Boston teens take summer courses at Emerson

Charles Beard Program

A group of Boston Public Schools students is attending the Charles Beard Arts and Communication Exploration Program at Emerson this month. (Photo by Dan O'Brien)

A group of Boston Public Schools students are taking courses in conflict resolution, creative writing, and theater at Emerson July 6–17 as part of the College’s 10th annual Charles Beard Arts and Communication Exploration Program.

The students will take courses in other topics at different colleges around the city throughout the summer through the YMCA Youth Achievers program.

“This is a great example of Emerson opening doors and making connections in the community,” said Jeeyoon Kim ’13, a program coordinator in Emerson’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, who is overseeing the program. “These students are working with our faculty who have connections to industry and that’s a special thing.”

Kim previously taught a course for the Charles Beard program.

“The groups are so unafraid to try something new,” Kim said. “You give them a camera and ask them to film improv exercises, and they have that ‘why not?’ kind of attitude. Some are shy at that age, but they’re so willing to try something new.”

The two-week Emerson program culminates with a showcase of student work on July 17 at the College’s Iwasaki Library, in the Walker Building, from 12:00 to 2:00 pm.

Attorney Israela Brill-Cass, a faculty member in Communication Studies, is teaching a course called Personal Power & Conflict for Change, which is an open, nonjudgmental forum for students to learn about different types of power, and to examine and discuss their own sources of power.

Colleen Fullin, faculty member in Writing, Literature and Publishing, is teaching Spoken Word & Performance Poetry, which will focus on social, political, and cultural issues.

Amissa Miller, assistant professor in Performing Arts, is teaching Documentary Theatre, in which students will explore documentary theater as an art form to interrogate issues of voice, community, and power. They will also explore storytelling, interview, research, writing, and performance techniques through group work and outside assignments.

Bethany Nelson, senior theatre educator-in-residence in Performing Arts, will teach Improvisation & Theatre Games, which allows students to explore basic acting techniques and express themselves to find common ground.

Charles Beard was a pioneer for black lawyers and businesspeople in Massachusetts throughout his career. He was also a philanthropist and served on several boards of trustees, including Emerson College and Phillips Academy, and was chair of the WGBH Educational Foundation.

Learn more about the Charles Beard Arts and Communication Exploration Program.

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