Express Yourself programs take place at our studio, residential and corrections facilities throughout the area, as well as schools and agencies. Our model provides a high staff-to-participant ratio, building trust and deepening connection. Exploring an annual theme, our programming is created through success-oriented activities. We believe deeply that everyone has something creative to contribute, and all of this creativity comes together in a joy-filled public performance at The Milwaukee Theatre each May.
A Year-long Immersion in the Arts
The signature Express Yourself program provides a multi-disciplinary arts experience in collaboration with exciting visual and performing artists. Taking place at the Express Yourself Studio and on-site at various facilities, program participation encourages self-expression, uncovers individual strengths, and deepens connection.
Each fall, young people and artists at Express Yourself collaborate on a dynamic set design that will be the backdrop for our grand performance in spring. The entire Express Yourself community then works together to create the finished set for our show.
Multi-Arts Studio Groups
These multi-disciplinary arts experiences for youth are designed to support them as they find their voice, discover their strengths and build confidence. The structure of the groups artistically create opportunities for healthy life choices.
Individual Arts Sessions
These sessions are scheduled for youth who need or prefer individual arts engagement to find their voice, strengths and resilience within a creative and safe environment towards positive futures.
On the second Friday of each month, our open mic night offers opportunities for positive self-expression in a studio performance venue. Community youth are invited to perform and support others in their artistic expressions. Lead by youth arts interns and staff, Good EATS is open to the community at large as a celebration of our strengths and creativity.
Candidates who have shown leadership qualities and a desire to give back to our community can apply for our Youth Arts Internship Program, which includes both paid and volunteer positions. Mentors to the younger participants in our programs have significant experience in Express Yourself programming and performance. They serve as part of our staff while they develop important skills like collaboration, networking, and expanding their artistic vision.
In the Community
Public art exhibitions celebrate the talents, strengths, and abilities of Express Yourself youth, shining a light on their positive contributions. Artworks are exhibited at the Express Yourself Milwaukee storefront gallery and at galleries and exhibition spaces throughout the community.
Express Yourself youth perform in the community, showcasing the vibrant quality of the art they create in collaboration with professional artists. Performances build connections in the greater community, de-stigmatize marginalized youth, and enhance self-esteem. Recent performances include: Washington Park Bandshell, Summer 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016; Global Union 2014, 2015; Wrap-Around Talent Show 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016; Wisconsin Council on Children and Families 2010; WI Governor Inauguration 2006; 14th Annual UWM Urban Initiatives Conference 2012; Summer of Peace Parade 2012, 2013.
Contact us to learn how to bring Express Yourself programs to your site.