How We Build:
We develop bodies and voices through participation in arts programs that build and strengthen community
We teach self-expression through writing, visual art, creative drama, movement, dance, and theatre.
We support arts education and literacy efforts, providing opportunities through the development of innovative partnerships, programming, and theater resource services. We explore ideas and culture.
We involve young people in the entire creative and technical process and development of productions.
We empower maximize the potential of our youth by providing professional performing arts training, workshops, connections, and performance opportunities.
We develop confidence, imagination, a sense of self, teamwork, discipline, integrity, and other life skills through the teaching of stage skills.
We provide a safe place to be passionate an creative, and inspire a desire for learning.
We use the arts as a dynamic and progressive tool to teach effective ways to listen and communicate.
We provide a creative forum for young people to express their concerns and ideas.
I couldn't have taken a better workshop with a better group of writers. Trying a new genre or anything new comes with challenges. (That's my case!) Our leader and the group of writers with varying interests and levels of professionalism are insightful, encouraging and a lot of fun! The exercises and takeaways will serve me in other forms of writing. I prefer the insider tips and guidance to the academic approach. If you learn by doing, this is for you. These few weeks went by too quickly. I'm signing up again!
Excellent feedback from class instructor and fellow attendees (Mindy Lewis maintains good class structure and an encouraging environment for all participants. It's apparent from her notes and comments that she takes time to evaluate student submissions.) Good and thoughtful reading recommendations for further development Supportive class environment Small class size for individualized attention Class targeted at the right level Scheduled time convenient
I have taken part in a number of workshops over the years. In the capable hands of Thad Rutkowski, this one ranked among the very best. We had a half dozen writers of various skill levels, styles, and interests. Despite our differences, with guidance from Thad, we worked together beautifully as a team in improving our story-telling. Over the course of the class, the improvement in the quality of our work became something for all of us to marvel at and take pride in. In a fairly short time, we formed an effective team feeding off each other's comments. I found the experience highly productive as well as fun.
Mindy was knowledgeable about the craft of writing and, at the same time, responsive to the needs and wishes of the class. She provided extensive feedback to each student and led the class in high-level discussion of writing. This was a wonderful course!
Thad Rutkowski, a talented writer and teacher, offers insight, inspiration, and encouragement. He, and fellow classmates, gave me the courage and confidence to believe in myself and write.
I loved the small group atmosphere of the class. Mindy Lewis is a gifted teacher and had insightful teaching moments that allowed me to expand my writing in a more meaningful way.
This class really helped me develop as a writer. The structure of the workshop encourages people to write small works, or take steps at completing longer work. I can see a significant difference between my writing quality from my first session and now. The participants are great to work with, and Thad really helped guide me to better performance than I thought possible. I would say this class is worth the investment, even if you don't have a novel in mind to write, you may find the inspiration for one out of the many prompts. I don't even live in NYC, and it's still worth the trip from upstate NY to attend.
Thad creates a warm, supportive, and inclusive environment for both beginners and experienced writers. He encourages participation and provides constructive feedback. His policy on how much of their own (non-class assignment) work each writer is allowed to submit is liberal. I believe everyone in his class comes away a better writer for it.
Beth gives a number of options as your prompts for each class, and then an additional fun activity is assigned as part of an effort to get you to think creatively and expose yourself to new ideas. Beth is a kind, thoughtful teacher who has very insightful critiques and suggestions on what direction you should go in and how you can strengthen each piece. This was my second time taking this course and I've already signed up for it again!
This is the second class of Beth's that I've taken at the YMCA and I really enjoyed it. Each class, each student reads their 300-word work aloud, based on the prompt assigned the last week. This format allows for students to experiment with one-off pieces or continue working on longer works throughout the course. Beth's critiques are thoughtful and helpful. I would absolutely take this class again, and I suggest you do too!
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