Performing arts education as a foundation for youth empowerment
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There is now an ever-increasing call for schools to emphasize arts education as a means of empowering youths. However, in underprivileged communities with high student-to-teacher ratios, curriculums focusing on personal development are much less prioritized. Erita's Polygence project focused on writing a research paper to show how other institutions can use the performing arts in alternative ways to help youths realize their full potential. The paper investigates South African NGOs' roles in improving the future life outcomes of township children by examining two performing arts organizations: Jazzart and Amoyo. The paper shows how these NGOs use arts education to encourage a student's trust and how they leverage that trust to teach life skills and emphasize the importance of mental health. Erita argues that the arts-education model followed by Jazzart and Amoyo serves as a model for other organizations hoping to better the development of low-income youths.