The Builders of the New World
A Theatre, Education and Community Building Program for Homeless Children and At-Risk Youth
Created and taught by ATW's Artistic Director Thurman E. Scott in 1995, the award-winning Builders program has brought together professional theatre artists and professionals from a wide range of backgrounds to provide children residing in transitional housing facilities with a clean, stable environment, hot, nutritious meals, and the creative tools to look beyond their current challenges to a future where their dreams are achieved and they fulfill their potential as contributing citizens by creating tangible solutions to the world's needs.
Through a journey of creative development at ATW by both children and adults, individuals experience an enlightment that propels them to look beyond their own needs, feel curiosity about life, empathy for others, and commit themselves to building their communities.
By helping them use their imaginations and teaching them reading, writing, presentational, life, and community skills, Builders of the New World helps the children overcome their present circumstances, enkindles their ambition, and sets them on a path to fulfill their potential as contributing citizens.
Support the Vision of Helping Children to Fulfill Their Potential
We invite you to get involved and apply to participate in the program. As a Mentoring and Programming Assistant, you will participate in committees under the direction of Mr. Scott and the supervision of theatre staff. The committees will support the vision and successful accomplishment of the program by assisting with the administration of the program. There are many different areas of responsibility that must be fulfilled to deliver the program. Some of these include securing in-kind donations for the classes and final performance; typing and organizing the children's stories and cataloging their art work; setting up and breaking down the theater facility before and after the Tuesday class; planning and executing the final performance and celebration; preparing flyers, graphics, programs, and other marketing materials for the final performance; reaching out to government and business leaders, and prominent members of the community to attend the final performance, and serving as a liaison with the residential facilities where the children reside. In addition, you will support the weekly classes with the children in a variety of capacities.
Program History & Awards: Since 1995, BNW has recieved the support of:
Administrators and child care professionals at the Harriet Tubman Family Living Center, Volunteers of America, Women In Need, and the Women's Prison Association attest to the program's effectiveness in improving:
Program Curriculum & Structure
Children's Session:When the children arrive at our theatre facility, they are first served a nutritious, hot meal that has been donated by a top New York restaurant. Children and adults share the meal together in a relaxed, family-style atmosphere. Then, Mr. Scott begins the class. The children start to explore the age old issues of freedom and responsibility, justice and compassion, and peace and conflict. These themes have challenged humanity for centuries. The children draw and write about the positive visions they have of themselves and the world in the future. They also learn about and begin the process of implementing the steps they need to take today in order to achieve their dreams tomorrow. Throughout this process, the children learn theatre and presentation techniques that allow them to communicate their ideas with clarity and purpose.
The final presentation celebrates the children's accomplishments through a performance and a festive meal. The children have an opportunity to present their visions and ideals to friends, family, members of the community, and elected officials. At the conclusion of this important evening, the graduates of the program are presented with certificates of achievement and beautiful gift bags that contain toys, books and other educational supplies.
Recipient of the First Annual BNW Award, Congressman Charles B. Rangel, declares:: "These children will never forget the experience they've had here. My political and social consciousness is always recharged when I see lovely kids whose minds are just beginning to develop being exposed to all the things God would want them to have and people who care enough to be with them... thank you, Mr. Scott. To bring all of the genius and beauty that's in these children and develop it so that they can share it with us, all I can say is you've made me a very happy human being. Mr. Scott, I believe your vision is inspiring and your talent and creativity are boundless."