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THE PEACE DRUM PROJECT

A Message To Parents & Teachers

Historically drums have been used in nearly every culture as a way to communicate, to celebrate important events, and create unity within and between communities and generations. CAI has always used drums as an integral part of our programs. The Peace Drum is a artistic manifestation of the message of peace and inclusiveness that CAI programs have been advocating for over thirty years.

The Peace Drum Project is designed to provide Boston teens (ages 14-18) with quality after-school arts programming and leadership training. Twenty teens from Dorchester, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Roslindale and Roxbury will work with professional artist/educators one afternoon per week participating in arts and group building activities that explore the effects of racism, age discrimination and the negative stereotypes which confront urban youths.

Through drum-making, drumming, music, and visual arts activities, the teens will develop artistic, problem solving and critical thinking skills. Teens will visit cultural sites like museums, artist studios, public art installations, and get to know teens from different neighborhoods. During the project, each teen will work with one or more elders from Boston elderly housing developments and tape record the elder's oral history, then their story will be transformed into painted visual images on a drum. This will allow both the teens and the elders the opportunity to break-down negative stereotypes, to share stories and hopes, and work together to strengthen their community.

Each year the project activities will be tailored to fit the interests and needs of the participants. Activities such as journal writing, music-making, drum-making, and a scavenger hunt will be continuous, but additional activities including dance, drama, making handmade books, painting, collage, photography will be brought in to address teens' interests and to motivate them toward excellence. At the end of each school year there will be public exhibitions and presentations of awards as well as an online exhibit of drums and stories.

For more information about the project, contact Susan Porter, 617-524-6378, or email cai@tribal-rhythms.org.