The Young Writers and Leaders is a program of the Telling Room, a non-profit writing center in Portland Maine. The program is home to 15 high school students from Rwanda, Somalia, Haiti, Uganda, Iraq, Afghanistan, Congo and Kenya. In addition to one-on-one literacy tutoring, college prep assistance, creative writing, job skills and leadership training, the students also participate in arts programming. This year's concentration is the film project featured in the above video led by teaching artists, David Meiklejohn (filmmaker and director of My Heart is An Idiot) and hip-hop recording artist, Sontiago (Endemik Music).
On May 24th, the students will premiere their short films in their hometown of Portland, Maine at Space Gallery. Over half of the students in the program have not spent time in another city outside of Portland. Over half of the students have not spent time in Boston, though it is a mere two hours away. Over half of the students have not traveled by train.
If funded, our plan is to travel to Boston via the Downeaster train and spend the day in the city visiting a sister writing center and pairing up with Boston-area young writers. In the evening we will rent a film house that holds 250 people and screen the 15 original short films featuring each YWL student performing their individual stories based on myths about America and life as new Americans. The screening will also offer a Q&A with the Young Writers and Leaders students.
- (30 days)