L.I.F.E. 2012 is on its way. Are you ready? Click to Register now!
In 2005, responding to the lack of relevant creative outlets for undeserved youth (and especially youth of color) Fab-5 created The L.I.F.E. Program (Living In Free Expression) — an intensive series of urban arts workshops designed to allow youth to develop and explore their unique voices through a variety of different mediums via:
- music (DJing/music production)
- movement (breakdancing)
- visual arts (legal graffiti art)
- & creative writing/spoken word (lyricist’s lounge) workshops.
In addition to urban art, Fab-5 students also learn how these mediums connect to traditional styles of expression through additional instruction in:
- music theory/composition,
- freeform movement,
- mixed-media art,
- color theory,
- screen printing,
- public art & mural planning.
Each L.I.F.E. session includes three hours of hands-on instruction and discussion. Discussions topics include debriefs of the day’s activities, feedback from students about their experiences, and reflection about how students can apply their new skills and artistic talents productively within their neighborhoods and school environments. During the group discussions, healthy snacks are also provided.
Additionally, students also benefit from developing positive mentoring relationships from a diverse group of professional artists from within their communities.
At the end of each 3-month L.I.F.E. session, Fab-5 students (aided by instructors) partner together to create a culminating live production. All aspects of the event (content, name, timeline, etc) are planned by students. Past events featured live mural paintings, student/instructor movement exhibitions and student music showcases. This is a time to invite the family/friends of our students and the greater community to gather and celebrate work created during the L.I.F.E. program.
Additionally, during the planning process of the 2009 L.I.F.E. program celebration event, our students came to the consensus that not only did they want to showcase their talents, but they also wanted to tangibly impact and contribute to their greater community. To do this, the students democratically voted to have their event also serve as a fundraiser and clothing/food drive for several organizations that combat hunger and homelessness in Tacoma, an issue independently identified by the students as an issue they wanted to personally impact. It’s important for our students to understand social justice issues and the importance and power of mobilizing their communities for change!