Mathew Schwarzman, Crossroads Institute Staff and Peer-Educators

Everyday Performance & Community Development

The workshop will be led by the New Orleans-based  Crossroads Institute Staff and Peer-Educators that will include theater games, mini-performances, and small group discussions on the concept of “Everyday Performance” and its use in Community Development Work. The objective of the workshop is to help participants be more creative and more intentional in their use of performing arts activities to develop smarter, more successful and powerful individuals, small groups and communities.


Mathew Schwarzman has been a student, practitioner, instructor, and writer in the field of community-based arts since 1985.  He studied theater with John O’Neal, John Malpede, Fred Curchack, Corey Fischer, and others, and has been a member of ensembles in Philadelphia, San Francisco, and New Orleans.  Schwarzman mentors youth leaders nationwide in community-based arts education and helped establish arts education programs for teens, college students, and adults across the country.  He holds a doctorate in Learning & Change in Human Systems from the California Institute for Integral Studies and directs the Crossroads Institute for Art, Learning and Community in New Orleans. He is co-author of Beginner’s Guide to Community Based Arts.

AsaleSol Young is the newest staff addition to Crossroads Institute, as the Curriculum Manager and the Theatre-Arts Instructor for Creative Forces.  She is a recent graduate of Carleton College with degrees in AFrican-American Studies and Theatre.  AsaleSol has taught high school English and Theatre for two years in New Orleans, and has been working in community theatre for ten years, with a focus on youth for the past seven.  She is the founding director of W.A.LK.S, (Women’s Army Liberating Kindred Spirits), a women of color theatre collective based in New Orleans, and is also a poet/spoken word artist, musician, director, and youth organizer.

Sonali Fernando is the Company Manager for Creative Forces and Special Projects Manager for the Crossroads Institute.  Since Summer of 2008, she has worked very closely with Creative Forces youth and staff to help produce and refine 70% of the Repertoire.  She holds a Bachelors of Science in Music Industry Studies from Loyola University, New Orleans.  Since graduating in 2006, Sonali has sung locally with numerous bands and music projects, dancing with New Orleans parade and dance troupe and Gris Gris Strut.  She is an active member in W.A.L.K.S., a theater collective for women of color, as well as managing, promoting and DJing locally in nightlife.

Will Powell (“Deuce”) is 19 years and a freshman attending Southern University of New Orleans.  He has been part of Creative Forces since its very early beginnings in 2006 as a musician, singer, composer, actor and poet.

Tammy Stewart is seventeen years old, and has been a member of Creative Forces for two years.  She is a very talented dancer, singer, pianist, and cheerleader.

Mai-Lien Johnson is 17 years old and a senior attending New Orleans Charter Science and Math High School.  For the last two years she has sung, acted and danced alongside her peers in Creative Forces, and maintained a 3.0 grade point average at the same time.

1 Comment

  1. That was exactly what I was looking for. You are doing a good job communicating your message. Keep up the good work.

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