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Rustbelt to Artistbelt : At the Crossroads in St. Louis, April 12-14, 2012
Arts-Based Community Development Convening
Transforming Post-Industrial Cities through Art and Innovation
April 12 through 14, 2012 - St. Louis

Gerald Young

St. Louis, Missouri

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Gerald Young, Security Officer, The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, Retired SLPD Officer, grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. He is quite possibly one of the best people you will ever meet and served as a St. Louis Police Department patrol officer for 27 years. He recently retired from the SLPD and has taken up more fishing and spending his days of retirement working part time at the Pulitzer, where he has been a security officer for the past three years. Young, a member of the Pulitzer’s gallery staff, provided valuable support for both Staging Old Masters (2009) and Staging Reflections of the Buddha (2012). Visitors can spot him in the Pulitzer galleries with a toothpick adorning his ever-present smile.

Presentation(s):

Staging Innovation: Uniting Theatre Arts and Social Work in a Museum Setting

Day 2 / Apr, 13 @ 4:15 pm
Lower Level : Room A

For five months the Pulitzer has partnered with Prison Performing Arts, St. Patrick Center, and Employment connection to present Staging Reflections of the Buddha, a community project inspired by our highly successful Staging Old Masters project of 2009. The project unites theater, visual arts, and social work to build connections between the art and all audiences while transforming lives and fostering connections between communities.

The program works with a group of former prisoners and homeless veterans training them to become actors through weekly workshops that also include art exploration and instruction, theatre exercises, meditation, and rehearsals. Concurrently, the actors work with St. Patrick Center and Employment Connection to apply their art experiences toward achieving their goals, which include but are not limited to, obtaining housing and employment and re-integrating into society. The workshops culminate in performances of an original work created by the actors.

After two successful Staging programs, the question is what happens next? Can we replicate the program again, and if so, in what capacity? Can the program be exported to another museum or arts institution? Can the program develop into an organization on its own?