I want to shout it out, leap up and down and tell the whole world, or Miami at least, that everyone should enroll their son and daughter, niece and nephew—and even the neighbor’s kids—in Living Equality Through Arts & Performance (L.E.A.P.). L.E.A.P. is six-month GLBTQ youth arts enrichment and mentorship project for 14-18year-old kids living in Miami-Dade County led by Pioneer Winter, Marissa Alma Nick, Marie Whitman and me. And, it’s free!
The program is split into dance and creative communication workshops, culminating in a final performance in the Peacock Foundation Studio at the Arsht Center. The workshops are guided by professionals in each filed who will facilitate the students in reaching their potential as creative beings, while also mentoring them through the creative process.
What’s important to keep in mind is that L.E.A.P. isn’t just for GLBTQ youth. L.E.A.P. is for the greater community in which we live and thrive. It’s for a community that needs inclusiveness to prosper and equality to blunt the forces that try to separate and tear us apart. L.E.A.P. is also about bringing your children and grandchildren — of any and every persuasion — to meet other children and grandchildren to build community from the ground up, mano a mano.
One day your kids will grow up and run this sprawling, gargantuan city. It’s future identity and cultural, economic and political relevance will depend on them. For now, they depend on us to guide them to and through self-awareness and self-expression. The arts is one very important way to inspire these new artists, leaders, writers, dancers and activists of the future.
Classes began November 24th, but enrollment is still open. Class runs every Saturday from 3-6 p.m. For more information, contact Jared Sharon at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305-572-1119.