$3,836
pledged of $3,750pledged of $3,750 goal
69
backers
3days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sun, June 30 2019 2:00 AM UTC +00:00.

$3,836
pledged of $3,750pledged of $3,750 goal
69
backers
3days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sun, June 30 2019 2:00 AM UTC +00:00.

About

In June of 2019, Trade Winds Ensemble will partner with the Ruth Ellis Center (a short and long-term residential safe space providing support services for homeless and at-risk LGBTQ youth) to provide workshops centered around creativity, wellness, and self-expression. Beyond our work at Ruth Ellis, TWE will share space together (a rare opportunity for us) planning our 2020 project and working toward our long-term goals.  

Mural at the Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit, MI
Mural at the Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit, MI

When researching organizations in the Detroit metro area, we were so inspired by Ruth Ellis Center's mission. REC’s diverse SOGIE (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity or Expression) youth often attend schools which may not understand the unique needs and development of social skills associated with their background and experience. The amazing volunteer team at REC is committed to immersing their children and youth in workshops and activities which focus on skills that aren’t traditionally taught in school. Trade Winds will use music, dance, and other non-traditional methods to teach REC’s residents, largely diverse SOGIE foster youth, focusing on problem solving, future planning, breaking down big tasks into small steps, and instilling confidence. 

Risks and challenges

A challenge we have faced in past residencies has been making sure we are addressing the true needs of our students, which are often quite different than our own. As we partner with other non-profit organizations to make our project possible, we will work to teach toward what our students need most. By asking questions, and collecting as much qualitative and quantitative data as we can, we can measure or students progress so that we can improve on programming during the course of the project, as well as for the future. We will work to make sure we are making the most positive impact we can for our students.

Trade Winds Ensemble acknowledges that working with sensitive populations requires an ever-evolving mindset that centers the experiences and knowledge of the diverse community that REC serves. Thus, Ruth Ellis Center’s expert staff will be conducting a training session for our teachers to prepare us for working with diverse SOGIE youth, educate us on uses of inclusive and affirming language, and to help us become more familiar with the ways REC makes a difference.

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