The Peace of the Arts program, initiated by the Goshen College multicultural affairs office, will present final projects from their spring program at noon on Feb. 19. In the one-hour long program in Newcomer 19, Peace of the Arts participants will present photography projects, poetry and skits pertaining to their studies.
The program began after a gang shooting in 2005 and has since sought to provide an alternative after-school program that promotes intercultural dialogue and awareness through peaceful and creative mediums. Participants in the program range from grades nine through 12 and are selected through affiliation with the Boys and Girls Club and Goshen High School.
“We are averaging 23-25 students per session,” said Stacie Meyers-Ray, M.A.O. administrative assistant.
Peace of the Arts meets for five weeks on Tuesday and Thursday, the first three weeks at Goshen High School and the last two weeks at Goshen College. Each session begins with a discussion of historical civil rights movements. This year’s topic is the Chicano Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
According to Meyers-Ray, “The students work on artistic ways of expressing what they have learned while also having a deeper appreciation for those historical heroes and ordinary people who bravely and peacefully fought to obtain equal rights for all.”
One such method of this current connection was a photo project lead by Axel Hernandez from Ivy Tech Community College. The students were given disposable cameras and asked to take pictures of what their community means to them. They are currently putting their pictures and images into a collage.
In addition to Hernandez, Hugo Garza and Katy Josway, students from Indiana Unversity-South Bend, and Goshen College students Daisy Gaspar, a first-year, and Hector Varela, a sophomore, are working with Peace of the Arts.
“I think this provides a positive example to the high school students of three different schools coming together,” said Meyers-Ray.
On Feb. 19, Peace of the Arts participants will eat at the cafeteria prior to their performance to engage in conversation with other Goshen College students.