Slam Out Loud, a not-forprofit organisation supported by Brookfield Properties, is enabling children from low-income backgrounds to find their voice through art. These children are not only becoming powerful voices of the future but also beacons of hope by showcasing art forms that can empower, move and inspire anyone who was witness to their performances.
The spiritual writer Thomas Merton once said, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” Indeed, art has many benefits. For one, it can improve cognitive and decision-making skills and help one develop a happy state of mind. It is also one of the most creative mediums of communication and expression, and most importantly, bringing arts into education can help children find their voice. however, for children from low-income backgrounds, it is not always easy to get access to suitable platforms where they can showcase their artistic side and receive unconditional positive regard.
Helping children find their voice
Fortunately, not-for-profit organisations such as Slam Out Loud are providing these children engaging opportunities to build creative confidence, which is a combination of skills such as creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, self-esteem and empathy. Started by Jigyasa Labroo and Gaurav Singh in Delhi in 2014, Slam Out Loud is using a combination of art forms like poetry, storytelling, visual arts and theatre to empower children—aged between 10 and 17 years and belonging to disadvantaged sections of the society—to harness their voices and thereby break the cycle of negative outcomes. The not-for- profit organisation works with professional artists and uses a variety of e-learning resources to empower these children.
The Jijivisha Fellowship
As part of its flagship programme ‘The Jijivisha Fellowship’, Slam Out Loud first identifies students from government schools, learning centres and shelter homes and then trains them. Dedicated and skilled artists from different fields who sign up for this programme are then directly placed into classrooms. They proceed to enlighten the students with artistic concepts and essential life skills. each artist teaches a group of around 30 students per year. however, the programme as a whole is a five-year intervention with a relay model through which students undergo over 75 hours of arts-based learning annually, as compared to less than 20 hours annually in a regular school curriculum. most importantly, children from the local Jijivisha communities get the opportunity to showcase their art and skills at all levels, whether it is the classroom, the community or the society. For instance, they get to come together and perform for the first time as young artists at ‘Bol’, a Jijivisha art mela. The event comprises special performances by the children and the Jijivisha fellows, a curated photo-walk comprising photographs and artworks made by the children, and other exciting activities.
Support from Brookfield Properties
Till date, Slam Out Loud has brought the Jijivisha Fellowship to 100 artists and 6,500 children across the country. Brookfield Properties has contributed to this journey, for it has been the biggest supporter of the programme for the last two years. Brookfield’s cumulative monetary contribution has helped Slam Out Loud run the programme in 40 communities in Delhi, Noida and Gurugram, providing arts-based learning to 1,200 children. Brookfield’s support has also enabled the Jijivisha fellows to organise community-level art melas across 20 communities so far, with a cumulative audience of over 2,000, comprising parents, educators, community leaders, artists and other children. It is a delight to watch the children from the Jijivisha communities using these art melas to talk about societal challenges and propose solutions through their artistic work. Brookfield Properties’ support has also helped in giving more than 300 children art-related opportunities such as trips to National Gallery of modern art, India art Fair and National museum of India; and performing at platforms as Kids education revolution (Delhi), change the Script (Delhi and Bengaluru), Spoken Fest (Delhi) and Singapore International Foundation’s Arts For Good Summit (Delhi).
By supporting Slam Out Loud, Brookfield Properties is bringing a sustainable change in the learning environment of children from low-income backgrounds. It is also inspiring children as well as artists to become lifelong leaders in arts and education.
To contact Slam Out Loud, drop in a mail to [email protected]