"Dancing is my getaway..."
~ Shalante

Artists Mentorship

The Girls on the Move project specializes in dynamic artistic mentorship.  Artists are chosen for their professional expertise in their art forms and their art forms' closeness to the girls' cultures, as well as for their skills in and desire to estabish long term positive mentoring relationships with girls. The Girls on the Move project has one clinical/artistic program director and four to six professional female artists for each year program. These professionals ensure that the program is a success.

The clinical/artistic director acts as a liason with the girls and families and provides counseling support & supervison for the girls and artists as needed, as well as provides overal artistic and therapeutic direction for each phase of the project.  The professional artists undergo specialized training intensives to prepare for each phase of the Girls on the Move Project. This support is essential in ensuring the success and effectiveness of the program. After the program commences, the artists participate in weekly data evaluation of their groups and weekly clinical supervision with the program director to ensure the needs of each girl and the group as a whole are fully addressed for the duration of the program. Read on to find out more about the artists' training curriculum.

Artist Mentorship Training Program

Phase I: Introduction to Performance Creation

Training I: Introduction to the Girls on the Move Project: The artists/instructors attend a full day training retreat to learn:

  • effective conflict resolution strategies and sexual health and prevention information that will be taught to the girls during the first 8 weeks of the program.
  • multi-cultural competency standards and practices in regards to the specificity of personal and cultural issues impacting this population of adolescent girls.
  • program phases and goals, and the process of weekly data collection.

Each artist submits a full curriculum with flexible weekly lesson plans after the training, and signs a contract to work as a team with the director and other instructors to become long term artistic mentors of each girl in the program.

Training II: My Art as Powerful: Artists attend a 3-hour experiential workshop with hand-outs exploring 6 art forms (visual art, poetry, photography, 3 dance styles, and theater) as doorways to behavior transformation and self-esteem building for high-risk inner-city African American adolescent girls.

Training III: A Meeting with Your Inner 13 year old: Staff attend a 3-hour experiential workshop that demonstrates how using movement, visualization, journaling, drawing, and music will increase empathic understanding of adolescent girls of all cultures and backgrounds, and for the adolescent girl alive within themselves. This course also assists in teaching instructors:

  • how to correctly handle difficult behaviors of the teen girls we serve;
  • to increase artist creativity and flexibility with teaching their art form to this population;
  • to improve artist communication across their diverse disciplines
  • and increase artist team spirit.

Artist Surveys: After completion of each 12-week introductory module, each artist will complete an post evalution of each girl, and a survey evaluation of the project. These evaluations are used to ensure continued program effectiveness.

Phase II: Visionary Mask Creation

Training IV: Exploring the Four Archetypes of the Goddess: Saint, Mother, Warrior, Lover - This 3-hour experiential workshop prepares Phase I trained and experienced artists to engage therapeutically in Phase II of the program: visionary mask creation to support the self transformation and empowerment goals of this phase for each girl..In this course, artists explore core archetypes of the female experience through movement, visualization, journaling, and deep sharing to prepare to assist girls into and safely through the archetypal realms of Super Girl character creation. Artists learn how to support each girl to initiate into their solo expression of their power self artistically while at the same time developing supportive and empowering relationships with their peers.

Phase III: Documentary for Change

Training V: Leadership Advocacy Training with A Better Philadelphia:
This 3-day experiential training for Phase III is based on Pacific Institute techniques for personal and social change and geared toward youth leadership development that will be integrated with the process of documentary film making.