Telling Stories for Social Change
This program consists of a ten-week-long course offered at Dartmouth College each fall and spring. During the course, twelve students and ten to twenty recovering addicts or inmates from local facilities collaborate, engaging artistically and humanistically though music, dance and improvisational exercises.
From the course syllabus: “Our social structure is full of unseen, unspoken, and unheard dynamics. These hidden and irresponsible social behaviors contribute to building visible and invisible social walls. Behind these walls, a growing invisible population has found a way to social visibility through addiction, violence, and crime. This course offers students the unique opportunity to collaborate with a group of people from behind those social walls from two distinct perspectives: theoretical and practical. For one class each week, students will study the root causes of social isolation and invisibility mainly pertaining to incarceration and addiction, in an active learning classroom. For the other half, students will travel to Valley Vista Rehab Center in Bradford, VT and participate in an interdisciplinary arts program in collaboration with the patients. Its final goal is the creation and performance of an original production on the theme of the patients’ voices. At the end of the performance, each participant reads a short personal testimony that speaks of their personal experience with the class/program, including a personal critical reflection and a social critical reflection. The final project for the course will combine research on themes related to incarceration, rehabilitation, transition, facilitation with critical analysis and self-reflection on the effectiveness of experiential learning and performance in rehabilitation.”
To see what past participants have to say about the program, click here.
Telling My Story On Campus
TMS’s newest program is held at and sponsored by Dartmouth College. Each fall and spring, members of two specific and socially isolated groups elect to participate in a eight-week-long facilitation led by Pati and following the same format as the Telling Stories for Social Change. Participants engage with each other on issues dividing their respective groups both through conversation and through improvisational exercises, and emerge with a greater understanding of each other and the ways in which they can break down the social barriers that exist in all areas of their lives.
Telling My Story Abroad
Since 2009, Pati has annually facilitated workshops using the TMS method in several facilities in Chile and most recently in Nepal, at times accompanied by a student volunteer. While Pati facilitated creative workshops with female inmates, accompanying students developed other artistic workshops to further the goals of the TMS program. To read more about the self-portraiture workshop designed and implemented by Dartmouth College graduate Nell Pierce in a facility in Talca, Chile, click here.
It’s Criminal: The Documentary
It’s Criminal, an original documentary directed and produced by Signe Taylor in collaboration with TMS follows the Summer 2010 Telling Stories for Social Change class at Dartmouth College. The film explores the emotional and intellectual struggle of students and inmates alike with class differences, poverty, incarceration, addiction and social abandonment. To view the trailer and see when It’s Criminal will be showing near you, visit the documentary homepage.