I Found My Voice will use various artistic mediums, performance and story circles to help women survivors of violence and sexual abuse/assault share their stories form their own creative responses to their trauma and connect with other survivors through the healing power of the arts. All workshop circles will be available to women in Flint the Flint community and surrounding areas. The Art Story Circle workshops will use dance, music, art, photography, poetry and storytelling to help participants share and form creative responses to their personal experiences of sexual abuse, assault, and domestic violence. The project will culminate in a final stage show featuring performances by local, regional, and national women artists who will also tell their stories through spoken word poetry, jazz, soul, and funk music traditions. Women who have participated in the Art Story Circles will be invited to and recognized at the final show which will feature original poetry and songs as well as tribute covers of such luminary women artists such as Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole, Nina Simone, Betty Carter, Tina Turner and Billie Holiday.
All workshop circles will be led by professional advocates, artists, poets, and author’s themed around the social ills of domestic and sexual violence. The various groups will consist of learning the basic skills of specific art forms such as tap dancing, poetry and basic jazz movement techniques will be used in simple choreographed themed pieces, photography to explore and awaken a deeper appreciation of self throughout the healing process documenting the curriculum. The final stage multimedia production will feature the development and stories of workshop participants. Legal confidentiality documents will be given to all attending the program allowing I Found My Voice to use the participant’s art work in the final production although no one will be forced to showcase themselves or their work in the final project if they are not comfortable. Long after participants have completed the program, their music, art, dance,
and storytelling will serve as a source of strength for many and a cautionary tale for all. This creates a space for victims to be vulnerable in the creative process, and victors through performance. A space where trapped feelings can emote through art and stage is for closure through release.