The viBeGirlsInCharge program is the umbrella under which viBe girls (and viBe College students) continue to develop leadership skills beyond our core programs. As viBe girls advance through and age out of our programs (such as viBeStages, viBeSolos, viBeGirlsRadio/SongMakers), our staff and teaching artists mentor them and provide technical assistance with academics, college applications, sexual health and education, as well as civic and community engagement. Girls’ leadership skills are developed organically, and our process guides girls to evolve as writers, performers, and citizens. Through partnerships with schools, arts groups, and community based-organizations, girls in viBeGirlsInCharge perform, facilitate workshops, and initiate civic dialogue about the issues most relevant to them and their communities.
In January of each year, viBe staff will engage up to 6 girls to participate in viBeGirlsInCharge. Each girl is responsible for creating, performing and facilitating engaging material for 4 workshops over the course of the year. To mentor the girls in the tried-and-true viBe method that incorporates improvisational theater activities, writing exercises, media analysis, and critical conversation, viBe staff will meet the selected 8 girls for monthly 2 hour training sessions. There they will be able to expand on the performance work they have already created and brainstorm with peers, teaching artists, and other artistic mentors about how to frame their creative work as a teaching tool for a full-length workshop.
Essentially, viBeGirlsInCharge participants are trained to facilitate theater activities, but the training and frequency of their performances opens them up to use their artistic work as a way to initiate civic dialogue. In different forums this takes different shapes. At a high school, workshops become a peer exchange, but for teaching artists or mixed audiences, the workshop takes on the form of an educational talk-back or lecture about the how and why of the artistic work. These talk-backs frame the girls’ writing and performance as the issue-based advocacy it is and thus challenges the idea that only adults can create meaningful work and initiate civic dialogue.