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Americans Who Tell the Truth

January 11, 2020

New project

Americans Who Tell the Truth will select twenty (20) indigenous, immigrant, and rural middle level and high school youth (two from each of ten schools) to create their self-portraits and write companion narratives about an event, person, and/or belief that helped them become who they are today.  AWTT and Maine artist Robert Shetterly and Maine educator Connie Carter will work with them in a day-long workshop at the Center for Innovation in Education at Thomas College to help them begin their self-portraits and narratives. The workshop date will be between March 10-20, 2020 (exact date to be determined).

The workshop will include the students and accompanying teacher/s (art and other disciplines) from participating schools as well as pre-service teachers from Thomas College.  Students will begin their self-portraits and narratives and teacher participants will learn to coach these students in their creations of art and writing in order to support them when they return to their respective schools.  Hopefully, teachers will coach additional students in their respective schools in order to broaden the dialogues among indigenous, immigrant, and rural youth in Maine.  
Finished portraits will be displayed at the Samantha Smith Challenge Celebration at Thomas College on June 1 and also at the Maine State House in Augusta.  Portrait artists and their teachers will hopefully accompany their portraits to both of these events. Plans for additional exhibits are still to be determined.  
The primary goal of this project is to give a voice to a representative group of indigenous, immigrant, rural and marginalized youth in Maine with the intent of using their work as a way to initiate a dialogue about diverse Maine identities and the power of the arts to help inspire that conversation.  Additionally, we hope to give teachers the tools to use the arts as a valuable interdisciplinary tool to bring explorations of Maine’s history, economics, cultural identity, and landscape to the school curriculum.  
Please direct any questions and concerns you have about this project to Connie Carter at connie@americanswhotellthetruth.org.  Because initial participation in this project is limited, please let us know by January 24 if you are interested in being a part of this empowering opportunity by e-mailing connie@americanswhotellthetruth.org  

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