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Changing the Odds: Community Transformation Through the Arts program has engaged 19 Windsor teens in experiences with a view to expanding their horizons through drama, music, dance and art.Changing the Odds: Community Transformation Through the Arts program has engaged 19 Windsor teens in experiences with a view to expanding their horizons through drama, music, dance and art.

Theatre camp aims to change the odds for at-risk youth

An interdisciplinary arts program recently wrapped up a summer camp designed to provide individual attention and support to youth in challenging circumstances aged 14 to 17.

Changing the Odds: Community Transformation Through the Arts,” was sponsored by Windsor Endowment for the Arts and SODA (School of Dramatic Art), in partnership with The Odette School of Business and local service agencies.

In its third year, the program has engaged 19 Windsor teens in experiences with a view to expanding their horizons through drama, music, dance and art.

Organizer and Director Tina Pugliese says the creative team was lead by professor Meaghen Quinn and included four Drama in Education and Community students, two business students, and six guest artists from the local Windsor-Essex region who,  “all believe in the power of community arts to promote youth development.”

Dr. Pugliese says the program evolves each year into something surprising and brilliant. The group presented their play, The Way Station, in an August 14 performance at the Jackman Dramatic Art Centre.

The play is a collection of styles, set in a world that welcomes song, dance, clowning, and free expression, written and directed by the students, leaders, and the guest artists, professor Quinn says.

“The stories are fictionalized, but are based on real life concerns and struggles presented by the youth over our six weeks together. By sharing their work the young people hope to inspire others to make a positive change and remind us all that we can overcome insurmountable odds if we stick together.”