Official Dosomething.org Project

The Problem

EMPOWERMENT Using movement arts as a platform for individual and global change, this project will simultaniously create documentation to raise public awareness of both the use of therapeutic movement modalities and the issues of disadvantaged youth. General Outline and Populations Served: This project serves disadvantaged youth, 4-21 years of age who would not otherwise have access to therapeutic movement services or exposure to movement arts. To qualify for services clients must have financial need AND have experienced or be currently experiencing one or more of the following: homelessness, extreme poverty, abuse or neglect, assault or out of home placement. The main focus area of this project is inner city Seattle, Washington. EMPOWERMENT will additionally serve impoverished youth in the tiny village of Lo De Marcos, Mexico with the goal of creating positive international relationships and global community building. If awarded, this grant will specifically fund a three week summer intensive, offered free of charge to all youth of Lo De Marcos. Intensive will include instruction in martial arts, yoga and English. Additionally, youth participants will be offered the oppurtunity to appear in a documentary film. Funding will help provide instructional materials, healthy snacks and appropriate clothing to participants. Modality: This project focuses on the movement arts (yoga, dance, martial arts, gymnastics...) as therapeutic modalities. Through out history, movement has been used as an important mode of self-expression and healing, although only recently has it become formally recognized as therapeutic. Most therapy modalities are designed to address only a specific group of issues, while movement therapy is used across the board to treat a huge spectrum of disorders. A client of movement therapy may see the same clinician for depression, stuttering and rehabilitation of a broken hip. Movement based therapy is perhaps the most holistic of the art therapies, engaging clients emotionally, mentally and spiritually through physical stimulation. Movement therapies are used with clients of all ages, but may be especially beneficial to children, who experience the world strongly through physical experience and have limited verbal abilities. Movement therapy is quickly generating interest through out the world and the numbers of practitioners and clients are growing. Research in the field is still very limited however, and the movement arts as well as therapeutic movement are generally not accessible to high-risk or low income populations. This project will begin to bridge that gap, while generating needed research and documentation. This project offers multiple choices and opportunities to involve and empower youth in the movement arts and \ or therapeutic movement. By giving voice, visibility and resources to those in need, while simultaniously allowing them to gather tools and experience to build power in their own futures, systemic change will be created through the arena of movement arts and therapeutic movement. (This project offers 'therapeutic movement' defined as using the movement arts to help create healing or growth around specific issues, as oppossed to 'movement therapy' because session leaders will not be master level therapists and sessions are not designed to provide or take the place of professional psychotherapy). All EMPOWERMENT programs will be offered to participants free of charge. Programs include: - Youth Leadership, training and employment. - Therapeutic Movement Groups and Private\ semi-private sessions. - Movement Arts scholarships - Documentary film - Research on the affects of movement therapy - International Community Building International Community Building: EMPOWERMENT first offered movement oppurtunities to the impoverished youth of Lo De Marcos, Mexico in February 2008 and will continue to reach out to this community, reflecting the desire to uplift and create change globally.

Plan of Action

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