I’m Owl and I’m inspirational. This summer of 2014, I was pulled into the job program called My City My Voice. Creative and intriguing, MCMV is the summer job site that sprung my vision in art onto a bigger level of skill. Owl is the name my fellow colleagues came up with from the beginning of work. “Word In Me” was the technique we did together, as a group, to help everyone find their artist name in themselves. Art is important to everyone. Even if you can’t see that yet. I was first inspired by the way I grew up from the start of my childhood. As a kid, I moved all around different environments where each had an artistic meaning in what that domain is. Boston and Brockton are the cities I obtained the originality in art. For example, when I was young, tall buildings in Boston would hover over me from where I’d go. As they look down at me while I look up to those giants, I think a million ideas. About how much it has. All from where I’ve been before also has a true story to it.
How it became that city.
How it gained thousands to live there.
How it also inspired me with art.
Although art is not a skill I’m completely trying to focus on for my destiny, it still matters to me in an emotional way. When I look deep down into art, I see meaning. Motivation. Mood. Diversity. All types of fine art has their own definition, including what it expresses and how it took a lot of proficiency to create that foundation. My City My Voice is the place where we generate our own path of innovation. Incorporating everyone’s input and ideas, it’s what puts the spark in the path and pulls people into what we do. Poetry, storytelling, theatre and problem solving are the main aspects of this program that I’ve completed throughout the weeks of working. All combined jointly creates in our topic: Duality.
My Artist name is Slick. My real name is Ahmed Maruf. My Word in Me is Slick because I am sneaky and wise in my everyday actions. Over these six weeks at My City My Voice, I have embodied the meaning of “Slick” more and more each day. I have definitely grown wiser over the course of the program. Each day I would learn something new from Bo, Zainab, Jessica, Mel, Becca and Paul. This great team’s enthusiasm, wisdom, experience, and skill greatly reflected through me and my art throughout the weeks. I have strengthened my creativity, communication, and networking skills far more than how they were at the beginning of the summer. Overall, I am largely thankful I was able to be a part of this program because it made me grow in innumerable ways each day. Thank you.
My name is Dollaz. I am a strong athlete. I swim and play baseball for my high school, CRLS. I’ve thrown a ball since the age of three. In my youth I developed great hand eye coordination. I like to think I’m a very kind, smart person and that I have a good sense of humor. Basically I had a strong skillset going into My City My Voice yet I still improved significantly over the course of the summer. Over the summer we ran into many obstacles that we had to work around. I developed my problem solving skills. Problem solving skills that I used in real life. My sense of humor, though I thought it was good before, improved. My networking skills, learning to interact with new people, improved.
The baseball field is important to me when looking for inspiration for art. The baseball field is a place where I am calm, happy, and confident. I have many stories to tell about what happened on the baseball field. The best art form for me is story telling. Which is why the baseball field is very inspirational as an artist. As an actor performing my own piece or others my process is first to learn the piece I’m presenting. Learn the story well and make it my own. I rehearse in front of anyone, but generally my family or friends. I Get feedback and continue rehearsing until I feel confident about the piece. I think about giving the story justice when I perform while trying to inspire people with my words. I am not going to pursue an acting career however performing will help me in high school, college and my job which hopefully will be a business man.
In the third week of My City My Voice, we focused on True Story Theater. In True Story Theater we shared stories that have affected us in the city of Cambridge. But the gist to it is that we had to make that story come to life by acting it out and performing it in front of people. We had to learn how to do music documentations using PBT (play back theater) techniques to try to tell a story. We had to use stage and lighting props, and learn how to take in our environment and not be afraid to be ourselves while we perform. We also are trying to interview people who have true stories that they would feel comfortable with sharing and letting others hear. People who used to be shy are now learning how to get out of their bubble a little bit and express themselves more.
On Saturday, for our final performance called Our City Our Story, everyone did amazing and we followed all the techniques that we learned. Everyone sounded natural and the acting felt real. That way, the story was able to come to life.
Sir Jester, Slick, and I (StarFox) made a song in Garageband that we are sharing with you. I thought it symbolizes duality, like our MCMV 2k14 theme. The beginning of the song is a stormy, sad beat that then progresses into a calm, happy beat that raises your spirits. As we made the track, I thought that the happy part of the song sounds like adventure music that you will hear when playing a game like Zelda or Final Fantasy. I found my time working at MCMV as an adventure because of the many obstacles and challenges I’ve faced there.
Every Monday we would do silent art: we would describe the songs we were listening to using symbols, lines, or whatever we wanted. I used sound waves and rhythm when the song was playing. After we were done with all of our paintings we hung them up on the wall. The counselors split us up into three groups. The group I was in was coming up with action and emotion/expressive words on poster paper. We divided the action paper into two categories, bad words and good words, to enhance our vocabulary. It was a really neat activity because people had different perspectives about the paintings they saw.
We’ve also done other really cool things like silent mask making. Our objective was to put things on the mask that shows us our personality around our friends, and cover the other side about our inner self, or how we act around our family. You could use pictures that relate to your traits. We were able to use magazines, or write words. Then we shared our masks and told three things about ourselves that describe “the inner you.”
I put a couch because I’m really lazy. I found a picture of a concert, and Iput it on my mask because I love music. I was hesitating to put that I love anime, because I thought people would think that I’m weird because I love anime, or that other people would think that anime is lame. But in the end I ended up sharing that to the class because I wasn’t the only one— someone else shared that too.
For our final performance, we made masks that show places that are special to us. Some people did places they always wanted to go, or just if you really love a certain place. We searched the place on Google maps, projected it onto the masks, and traced the area with a black marker on our masks.
I decided to do the area around BMC (Boston Medical Center) where I used to live. I did this because I remembered the times thatI missed the bus, Iad I would run to the next bus stop where Ariana was. We were really close friends. She was like a little sister to me. It may not sound like an important memory, but those are the things I hold dear to me.
In My City My Voice we all have a nickname that is our artist name for the summer. To get this name we first choose a colleague to stand in front of the group. He or she is not allowed to talk during the process. Then we start with choosing words that describe our colleague from different categories like Action, Animal, Weather or Buildings. After that step the colleague gets to add on words then he or she chooses his or her name for the summer. The process for me is tough because the words have to connect in some way with the person. Some of the words don’t fit or are just random. What’s also hard about the process is not all words make it to the final because the person getting their name can choose three words that they like and we debate on which one fits them the best. This then leads to them choosing their name. The whole process itself can be long or short depending on the person who is getting their name chosen because the list can be very long or pretty short.
My colleague DC got the name Dragon. He chose that name because a dragon is a creature that stands out from the others. I think the name fits him because he seems like he’d be a dragon. I think the process was very interesting and fun because it seemed really cool for everyone to get a nickname. I got the name Dark Shadow. It definitely fits me because of my personality and how I dress.