With recognized experience as a published author, community organizer, strategy consultant, and live performer, Aaron offers a unique perspective on identity-focused artistic creation within the larger context of social justice and organizational sustainability. Aaron has brought his workshops across the United States ranging from universities and high schools to community organizations and juvenile detention centers. Aaron’s workshops are highly interactive and require participants to come prepared to take risks and challenge each other to grow.
Each course can be customized to fit your organization’s needs and desired amount of study. All courses can be customized to three experience levels: participants with no experience, participants with minimal to some experience, and experienced participants. Courses can be taught in single 60 minute to 120 minute sessions, multiple sessions over the course of 1-3 days, or over the course of an extended engagement ranging from 5-10 sessions.
LET’S TALK ABOUT IDENTITY: Guided Identity Dialogues Through a Poetic Lens
Whether you are an artist-organizer, scholar-athlete or a multiracial Jew, it doesn’t take much to realize that we all contain a multiplicity of identities that exist and interact within us. However, we are not always given the vocabulary or the permission necessary to discuss the complexities that come with balancing the different aspects of our identity and exploring what makes us each unique. Come prepared to participate and join Aaron as he uses poetry to catalyze a series of guided identity dialogues that spark tough conversations about ethnicity, religion, gender, privilege, and other challenging aspects of the tangled double helix that makes us human.
WRITING YOURSELF INTO THE POEM: How to Write About Identity
From Shakespeare to Nikki Giovanni to Mos Def to Drake, artists have used their respective mediums to express the complexities and nuances of identity. In this workshop, Aaron leads a discussion about how both classic and contemporary writers have tackled identity exploration in their work. Then using the poems discussed as writing prompts, participants write their own poems discussing one or multiple aspects of their complex identity. Participants will then share and discuss the poems written during workshop. Participants do not need to come to the workshop with writing prepared, but should come ready to write!
CONNECTING TO YOUR AUDIENCE: Performance Poetry Mechanics
The Oral Tradition is arguably the oldest form of human recordkeeping, allowing cultures to carry their histories, practices, and secrets from one generation to the next. Contemporary performance poetry is a thriving and active force within the modern Oral Tradition, providing opportunities for people to share their stories with an audience. While everyone has stories to share, performing in front of
LEADERSHIP, COMMUNITY, AND THE ARTS: Building your artistic community
This workshop is specifically geared toward college and community organizers who are building artistic communities centered around written or performance poetry. This workshop is highly tactical and focused on leadership development covering the following topics: building an audience, generating sustainable sources of funding, making your community a safe space, finding the right balance of support and competition, developing emerging leaders, coaching young writers & performers, deciding how much of a focus Poetry Slams will have within your community, and balancing the fun aspects of community building with the grind. Feel free to come with questions that are specific to your local artistic community.
BUT WHAT IS YOUR DAY JOB: Tactics for young professionals balancing their career and artistic passions
As young artists we are often asked the burning and ugly question “but how will you support yourself?” Do we try to make it as a ‘full-time artist?’ Do we apply to graduate schools to support our artistic development? Do we abandon our writing entirely and join corporate America? In this workshop, participants will discuss the different ways to balance the multiplicity of career paths, artistic passions, and the practical necessities of supporting oneself. This workshop is specifically geared toward college juniors, seniors, and other people on the brink of a major life change that will impact their lives as artists. Participants should come prepared to discuss their artistic and professional career goals.
CUSTOM WORKSHOP FOR YOUR SPECIFIC ORGANIZATION: Tell me what you need
With experience as a consultant, performing artist, writer, host, organizer, and event coordinator, Aaron is not limited to the workshop offerings above. Workshops can be combined and customized to fit your organization’s needs. If you would like to create a customized workshop for your organization, or develop a longer-term consulting engagement, please contact Aaron to discuss logistics and engagement fees.