“Now I feel like an artist who can change my community.”
When Nicola joined the Music Clubhouse several years ago, she had no musical experience and very little formal exposure to the arts. That has all changed now, as she has become an artist with valuable experiences in writing and performing.
The catalyst for this change was Nicola’s involvement in the organization’s music career exploration program, which included training in public speaking, performance strategies, lyric writing, beat-making, and voice (her instrument of choice). Through this program, Nicola took her journal of original poems and turned some of them into song lyrics. Her songs and spoken word pieces reflected the challenges affecting her and her family, including deaths, incarceration, and immigration. Nicola performed these pieces at many community events, including cultural and art programs at prestigious institutions in Boston.
In addition to writing and performing, Nicola has assumed a leadership role in the organization. She has been involved in restarting and expanding various programs, and she kept her peers on track when planning workshops or preparing for performances.
Even when Nicola began struggling academically and considered leaving this leadership role to focus on school, she stuck with it. With the help of her mother and the organization staff, Nicola began attending the evening tutoring program, which allowed her to receive academic support within the creative environment she loved so much.
Nicola has continued to develop her spoken word pieces, and in partnership with other youth leaders, she turned one piece into a song that was included on a CD of original work. Furthermore, she prepared and led poetry workshops for community youth.
Nicola now sees herself as an artist with a strong, meaningful voice to be heard within her community and as an individual who can plant the seeds of social change in others through her leadership in the arts.