I write to you from Brighton, England, where I am spending the first six weeks of my summer as an Eve Carson Scholar. While Brighton is only a fifty minute train ride away from central London, it has a culture and community all of it’s own. It is home to an eclectic youth culture — there are a few nearby universities and its also a popular relocation spot for recent university grads and practicing artists. It has some similarities to San Francisco or Portland — biking, punk fashion and culture, independent music, veganism/ vegetarianism and “local” goods are all popular. Brighton is also a geographically diverse place. Behind my house are miles of a typical looking English countryside – rolling green fields filled with grazing sheep. When you get to the top of the first hill you can see the fields and road stretching out in one direction and the Atlantic Ocean in the other!
A bit about my summer: The vision of the Eve Carson Scholarship inspired me to create and challenging and rewarding summer experience. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to spend the summer living in a completely new place and doing the kind of work I love so much. My summer is built off my desire to develop my two major passions – art and working with young people. I am interning/shadowing with a couple of different programs based in the London area. Upon my arrival, I started work with Syrus Consultancy, a group that brings workshops to at-risk youths. I have been assisting in poetry and spoken word workshops with students who have been removed from the mainstream school system due to behavioral issues. I will also be working with Foundation 4 Life, a non-profit that runs a number of projects – mentorship programs for juvenile/young adult offenders, degree attainment support, and community-based research. On the days I am not interning or shadowing, I am working independently to create my own series of performance and writing workshops that I hope to pitch to an alternative suspension program of Chapel Hill-Carrboro Public Schools at the beginning of the fall semester. Finally, I am getting the chance to embark on a collaborative performance/visual media project with an art collective based in East London. We had our first session yesterday and I look forward to sharing more about our creative process! on It is truly a dream-come-true to be working on all of these projects simultaneously – I feel like I am a more successful practicing artist and writer when I am utilizing art as a teaching tool and I am a more effective teacher when I am making my own work. I am also incredibly excited to be shadowing some amazing educators and leaders- I have much to learn and I am soaking it all in! Finally, I am so glad to be sharing my experiences on the blog – I am thrilled to be having this adventure and so grateful to the ECS for making it a reality.