The Kijana Youth Program is a project of The Alliance for Multicultural Community Services. An after school clubhouse that offers tutoring, recreation, life skills and arts, Kijana is housed in a modest one-bedroom apartment located in the same complex where many of the program’s youth reside. By the time of Maggie’s workshop, we had been working weekly with the Kijana kids for several years.
Though workshop activities made up the bulk of both of Maggie’s Houston visits, there is very little documentation of these sessions to share. This is partially due to an inability to obtain media releases at many of these schools. But it is also due to our sensitivity around the intrusion of cameras in workshops where participants might engage in vulnerable personal expression. Though much is lost by not having documentation. Much in the way of safety and free expression is secured without the presence of cameras and non-participating observers in the room. Fortunately, our longstanding relationships with the kids at Kijana allowed us to document that sessions and still maintain the sense of safety and freedom necessary for such work. We’re very excited to present two videos of that session, a short sequence of excerpts (mostly the free improvisations) as well as the most complete version of the session possible (allowing the viewer to experience the social dynamic of the occasion and to watch the process unfold through Maggie’s exercises). It’s a loose and energetic affair, and a great example of Maggie’s ability to trust the energy of the group and to allow individuals to completely be themselves. Special thanks should be given to videographer (and former Nameless Sound Board member) Chris Nelson. The fact that Chris is clearly having fun and fully engaging in the action brought him into the circle. He was not an outside observer, but a participant. And his video document gives us a sense of participation.
A brief account from a workshop participant
Hello my name is Celine,
I met Ms. Maggie Nicols at a session at Kijana. It was a while ago but I remember having a good time with my friends.
We laughed, we practiced and we played instruments.
Ms. Maggie was really sweet even though I was a bother. She was still very kind to me.