"Our ideas come from the soul and the heart. Our ideas are inspired by each other, inspired by the society we live in, and by the struggles that we face in every day life. We all get together and brainstorm. Our art is not only words on a piece of paper or memorized lyrics, it's who we are and what we are not only as a "group", but as a team. Urbano is a family to me, and that is something I take to heart." -Jaelyn Montes, Spoken Word Teen Curator, Urbano Project
DeAnna resided as a staff artist at Urbano Project from 2009 - 2012, providing mentorship to young people across the city of Boston. She taught Dance & Compostion Workshops in 2009 and 2010, co-taught the Spoken Word Curatorial Program in 2011 and co-taught "Act Up. Speak Out. Move Forward", an URBANO artists' project, in 2012. Her work with teens while in residence at URBANO Project in 2012 received recognition from President Obama’s Committee on Arts & Humanities as one of the top 50 exceptional youth programs in the U.S. for their work in presenting rich learning opportunities to young people in the field of arts.
KAIROS Artistic Directors DeAnna Pellecchia and Ingrid Schatz’s curriculum for creating collaborative performance projects with teenagers, originally implemented at Urbano Project in 2012 was chosen for publication in the Spring 2013 issue of the Harvard Educational Review (Expanding Our Vision for the Arts in Education). Pellecchia and Schatz co-authored the essay “Speak Out. Act Up. Move Forward. Disobedience-Based Arts Education” along with artist Alison Kotin, musician Shaw Pong Liu, and Urbano Project founder Stella McGregor. The essay discusses the potential of contemporary art to empower youth, provoke audiences, and foster conversations, and offers a model for the development of arts education.
Urbano Project empowers urban teens and professional artists to effect social change through participatory works of contemporary art and performance. Professional artists work with Boston high school students to create collaborative, public works that invite interaction and conversation.The work is based in collaboration, risk-taking, and border crossing, the essential foundations of creative thinking. Teen artists are challenged to carry what they learn at Urbano beyond the studio space, thinking deeply about the boundaries of art and lived experience, and the ways in which artistic intervention can spark and reshape public discourse.
The instructors who staff URBANO Project's programs and artist projects are seasoned educators as well as professional artists who pursue a vibrant and innovative personal artistic practice. Projects provide opportunities for teens to experience a diversity of media through studio exploration and large-scale collaborative projects and are offered free of charge to Boston-area public high school students. Teens are recruited, interviewed and selected at the beginning of each school year and receive a stipend for their participation.