NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — As we continue to honor Black History Month, some students are taking their experiences as teenagers of color in America and turning them into performance art.
Teens With a Purpose will perform songs, dance, and poetry Saturday at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk.
They’ve got the lights, they’ve got the camera, but you’re going to have to wait for Saturday to see the action.
“We’re going to bring to the stage a multimedia production called ‘OTU,'” said Deirdre Love, founder of Teens With a Purpose.
Teens With a Purpose is a creative arts youth group that uses their voices and skills to address social ills and raise consciousness through acting, poetry, music, and art. They’re doing exactly that with their performance Saturday.
“It is the telling of a story about a woman from this region who did something amazing,” Love said. “We’ll be uncovering her story through visual arts, through poetry, through movement.”
Love wanted to keep the subject of Saturday’s performance a secret, but her story and others like it are at the core of teaching young people of color some history that might have fallen through the cracks.
“Where young people come face-to-face with legends from the African American Hampton Roads community and they get to see their stories and re-interpret them into poetry and music and dance and art and bring them to stages … we can keep the stories alive and make some immortal,” Love said.
“So what people should really expect is not a show, but a chance to engage,” Love added.
And guests and also expect to pass forgotten historic stories along through contemporary ways.
“When they take those stories and translate time into poem, that’s keeping them alive for another generation, the way another generation learned,” Love said. “So they have a story to tell. They can keep our history alive … It’s critical.”
The performance is at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Chrysler Museum.