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Howl High Online Program Description

The Howl High Teen Arts Program was launched at the end of February 2020 with a starting cohort of eleven students composed primarily of District 1 & 2 public high school students. Designed as a project based learning program focused on iconic artistic movements of the East Village and Lower East Side, students produce original works inspired by artist-led workshops and talk backs from a variety of disciplines. In-person programming was suspended in early spring due to the pandemic and has resumed in an online format this fall. Featured artists include Scooter LaForge and Catt Caulley (Protest Art), Jamel Shabazz (Documentary Photography), John Pizza (Performance Art), John Ahearn (Street Art), Tessa Hughes-Freeland (Video Art), Al Diaz (Street Art), and Helixx C Armageddon (Spoken Word). 

Following six weeks of online sessions once a week on consecutive Saturdays with the artists, students create an original capstone project of their own with the mentorship of the education director, Katherine Cheairs and Master Teaching Artist, Brett DePalma. Final portfolios and projects culminate in an online gallery and possible zine publication. Check out this protest art from Howl High student Destiny J.

Howl High Session 1 – Protest Art Artist Statement Excerpt from Destiny J. 

The piece presented was meant to speak on the stigma surrounding both mental health and being a part of the LGBTQ+ community. As seen in the piece I wrote the words “Let it out” and “It’s okay” around a pair of eyes that are crying tears that are rainbow-colored. The piece can be interpreted either way and is really up to the viewer looking at it. The intention of the tears being rainbow-colored was a representation of someone that is a part of the LGBTQ+ community finally “letting it out” despite having to hold it due to the discrimination and isolation one can go through when being a part of the community. They also represent the sediment that mental health doesn’t have to always be looked at as something to be ashamed of and bottle up.

-Destiny J.

Howl High is made possible by a generous grant from Disney.