Deep puts young people at the center of our learning spaces.
What do we mean by that? In Deep workshops, youth make choices about their own creative work, of course. But more than that, their feedback—or pushback—can change the course of a program year and sometimes revise an entire curriculum.
Case in point: the young people in Deep’s Block by Block (BxB) program continually challenge our staff—and the larger Savannah community—to expand our perspectives on youth development, arts education, and the importance of youth participation in debates on critical community issues.
The Block by Block curriculum supports youth and adults in place-based learning, creativity, and civic engagement on challenges facing their communities. Our teaching artists encourage youth in their writings to be “real” and not to sugarcoat their observations about their lived experiences and the world. However, in 2017, one young author pushed back and made us rethink what we mean by “real” and just how committed we are to supporting our young people's perspectives.
A young author named Guy wasn’t feeling the writing prompts. Not that he didn’t want to write about reality and real-world events; he just wanted to do it through a different lens, a world of his own creation. Making up his own writing prompts, he set his narratives in a wholly different, speculative world.