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Grand Rapids Creative Youth Center presents The Sketches that Lived

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Grand Rapids Creative Youth Center presents The Sketches that Lived at the Wealthy Theater on October 21 at 7:00 pm, a show for all ages that promises to delight and inspire. All proceeds go to the Creative Youth Center.
Young writers fill their notebooks with musings at the Grand Rapids Creative Youth Center

Young writers fill their notebooks with musings at the Grand Rapids Creative Youth Center /Courtesy of GR Creative Youth Center

L.S. Klatt leads a poetry workshop for 6th--8th graders on October 14th!

L.S. Klatt, the author of "Cloud of Ink," which won the Iowa Poetry Prize in 2011, and "Interloper," which won the Juniper Prize for Poetry in 2009, will teach a free workshop for 6th to 8th graders at the CYC on October 14.  Klatt teaches literature and creative writing at Calvin College.  More information is coming soon!

Attendees of the CYC's Summer Safari program direct their creative thoughts to the page at Sparrows Coffee Tea & Newstand

Attendees of the CYC's Summer Safari program direct their creative thoughts to the page at Sparrows Coffee Tea & Newstand /Courtesy of GR Creative Youth Center

On Wednesday, October 21, the Creative Youth Center (CYC), where kids become published authors, will host "The Sketches that Lived," a performance written and inspired by CYC kids and performed by professional adult actors. The show starts at 7 p.m. at the Wealthy Theater, and doors open at 6:15.  

“This is a show that promises to delight and inspire audience members of all ages,” says Kristin Brace, the CYC’s executive director.

"Kids aren't always taken seriously, but they have so much to offer. Our hope with 'The Sketches that Lived' is to affirm their writing and creativity by enlisting adult professionals willing to give of their time and talent to interpret student work,” says Brace. “We're tickled to give local talent this opportunity to shine and to offer a new and meaningful experience to our guests.”

The Creative Youth Center is the only writing-focused arts organization in Grand Rapids. It provides innovative, thoughtful writing and poetry workshops and programming for youth ages 6-18. Students have the opportunity to work hard, be silly and embrace their own stories and the stories of others; these opportunities guide them to a strong sense of identity and an enthusiasm for learning. To learn more about what a day at the CYC is like, click here.

The show will be directed by Amy Gascon, playwright and comedian best known for writing and directing "A Clashtick Christmas." Gascon, who led a sketch-writing workshop for CYC students this summer, was inspired to lead the performance by the creativity of those who attended the workshop.

“As we grow up, it seems like life places restrictions on our ability to think outside the box and to let ourselves be silly. It is refreshing being around people who think without boundaries, and that's how the CYC students are,” says Gascon.

Rachael Hamilton, director of programming at the CYC, also loves hearing the CYC writers’ creative voices.

“They are so uninhibited with their creativity, and it's always exciting to hear what they have to say,” says Hamilton. “I can’t wait to see their work come to life.”

Sarah Jean Anderson, artist, comedian and CYC board member, hosts the show. She took a moment to highlight the particularly unique aspects of "The Sketches that Lived," noting that in most productions involving children, the children perform the works of adults.

“Adults performing the written works of children - what a totally cool change from the ordinary! This evening will be fun for everybody. And if I were one of these super cool kids, I would be so proud of myself,” she says.

The CYC students should be proud of themselves, indeed. They’ve authored all the sketches and monologues featured in "The Sketches that Lived," and they’ve also authored the works in the CYC’s most recent anthology, "Tiny Purple Thunderlights." The book underlines host Anderson’s belief in the students’ creativity.

“Their creativity is powerful and beautiful, and it will improve and change over time.” says Anderson.“They should never stop expressing themselves and using their imaginations.”

After the show, those who attend are encouraged to stay for the reception that immediately follows. There, they just might have the opportunity to meet the CYC writers and their families, and they can pick up their own copy of "Tiny Purple Thunderlights."

Brace encourages all attendees to consider purchasing the book as a way to be further inspired by the writings of the students, whose creative works are made possible, in large part, by their families.

“We're regularly inspired by the determination of families to provide positive opportunities for their children, by our students' characters that somersault off the page, and by the words of wisdom pronounced from tiny mouths,” says Brace. “Our kids and their families are the heart and soul of the CYC.”

Tickets for the show start at $10, they’re on sale now, and they can be purchased here

“Everyone is welcome!” emphasizes Brace. “The only requirements are a willingness to laugh and be inspired.”

All proceeds from the event benefit the Creative Youth Center.

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