What a successful year this was for the TAP Jamaica 2011 Project! The TAP Team has been back now for almost 3 weeks and like always, so many of the Canadian and Jamaican participants have been changed by the experience. We were blessed with extraordinary participants and team members who had so much talent. Before I continue, let me stop and thank our family, friends and donors for their support throughout this journey. We would not have been able to run such a great program without YOU. You have helped make this dream a reality for so many participants!
Here are a few highlights from the program…
This year, we enhanced the program with two new art disciplines – Film/Photography and Culinary. Over the years, both have been present but have not been highlighted in the workshops. The Film/Photography Program was offered to only two participants (as a Pilot) who had the opportunity to have one-on-one training with TAP Team members and became the TAP Film Crew, documenting the activities and capturing moments throughout the program.
In the Culinary workshop, a total of 7 “chefs” were born! They learned cooking techniques and helped to prepare the meals for the rest of the participants. At the end of the program, the Visual Art workshop presented the culinary students with a personalized cover for their cookbooks.
Our Canadian/American Team was filled with many volunteers who were able to offer some unique workshops including graffiti, rapping, gymnastics, weaving, songwriting, skateboarding, electronic sound production, knitting, and more! Jamaican youth caught on to these artforms fast and had SO much fun participating!
One of the biggest highlights of the year was the introduction of the FIT (Facilitator-in-Training) Team. The objective of the FIT Team was to train some senior participants who have demonstrated a passion for the arts and leadership skills during a previous program (Canadian and Jamaican) and throughout the year. This program provided the opportunity for 11 participants to co-facilitate in the various art forms including Dance, Theatre, Creative Writing, Music and Visual Art with TAP Team members while also engaging in conflict resolution and leadership seminars based around The Art of Communication, the theme of this year’s program. The FIT Program was very successful and we hope to continue developing the leadership and facilitation skills of our participants all year!
As a result of the FIT Program, 5 of our participants have “graduated” from the program and will be joining the TAP Team in 2012 as Facilitators, where they will be developing and implementing arts workshops of their own. Their contribution to the overall program really raised the bar for the rest of the participants and we look forward to plugging them in to some local and international activities throughout the year, representing the organization on the ground in Jamaica as TAP Ambassadors.
Check out what Jo-Dean Tapper, one of TAP’s FIT Team graduates, had to say below about this year’s program and the overall impact TAP has had on her life. Jo-Dean is entering her third year of a Dramatic Arts degree at the Edna Manley School of Visual and Performing Arts on a TAP Scholarship and has been involved in the TAP Jamaica Project since the Pilot in 2007. This year Jo-Dean played an integral role in her workshops (Theatre and Creative Writing) and demonstrated her leadership skills throughout the program.
I really appreciated TAP for what it was this year…I definitely and positively know that TAP is where my heart and soul is right now. I see so much things happening for TAP and that we can come together as a team to accomplish…I am afraid that if we don’t just go ahead and make these ideas come to life, then someone, some gifted and talented child out there, will not be able to get that wonderful opportunity that Shaneil* and I got. So I think that I owe it to myself and all the other kids out there like myself to just continue making TAP a lifelong project…and know that the sky is the limit for the team.
*Shaneil also received a TAP Scholarship to attend Edna Manley in the Dramatic Arts degree program.
Check back soon for more testimonials from participants (including Shaneil) and highlights from the program!
Keep reading, and we’ll keep writing!