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Youth Artivism Series Paints a new Image of Hampton Roads

Teens With a Purpose (TWP), Creative Youth Development Organization’s youth artivists paint the future of Hampton Roads as colorful & connected!  They continue their efforts to transform communities through arts-based advocacy work.  This time TWP has a lineup of projects and programs that intertwine, seamlessly nudging the hearts and minds of their interactive audiences to atonement & unity with songs, poems, visual art, storytelling, and dance as the healing balm.

This series is built upon a Teens With a Purpose staple – The Circle. Every event & gathering at TWP begins and ends in a circle reminiscent of African tradition passed on and shared throughout the Diaspora. In these brief gatherings, everyone shares in the compilation of stories & emotions to bond and support one another. This shared tradition is incorporated in the blended programs: OTU’ – The Healing Quilt; Reckoning Our History & ImmortALL presented together on stage and virtually on TWP youtube & Facebook platforms.

This important and powerful work takes place during a time when the Hampton Roads region and all of humanity, perhaps, are being called to define posterity. Transformation requires ACTION so audience members & cast, at each performance, will imaginatively share their stories.

  1. Sunday, January 23rd, 7 pm – 8 pm – Virtual Only – Premiered

  2. Thursday, February 24th, Middle/High School Only Performance Virtual

  3. Saturday, February 26th, Chrysler Museum of Art Kaufman Theatre, 1 pm – 2 pm Hybrid* Ticket Link

  4. Friday, March 11th Wells Theatre 3 pm – 5 pm Hybrid* Ticket Link

(*Hybrid – live & virtual engagements)


Teens With a Purpose: Creative Youth Development organization whose mission is to empower young people to use their voice, creativity, reflection & action to affect personal growth, impact peers and transform communities.

OTU’: Storytelling, poetry, dance, and music written and performed by teens and adults from Teens With a Purpose – The Youth Movement with dance performance and choreography by Rita Addico Cohen Founder, Tidewater African Cultural Alliance, OTU’ – The Healing Quilt project Collaborative Partner. This cultural arts experience bravely & creatively explores racism in Hampton Roads and invites the virtual audiences to write response poems, dance, and sing along. OTU – The Healing Quilt (OTU means One in the Igbo language of Nigeria) – Unity!

Reckoning Our History: For more than 100 years, the YWCA South Hampton Roads has strengthened social movements that eliminate racism; empower women; and promote peace, justice, and dignity for all through advocacy, local programming, and services. Laura E. Titus sought a charter in 1906 to begin what is now YWCA South Hampton Roads. The charter was approved in 1908; however, Titus, a Black female philanthropist, is not given credit in the historic record. This exhibition seeks to reckon that story with original works by artists from Teens with a Purpose. With support from local artist Chris Green, the young artists convey their perspectives on this previously untold history, depict the impact that YWCA South Hampton Roads and Teens with a Purpose are making in our community, and present their vision for the future beginning at 11 am with gallery tours and performances in Hubert Court and culminating at 1 pm on stage in Kaufman Theatre for the interactive performance.

ImmortALL Showcase: In ImmortALL, performance poetry and social change meet oral history, including from those who lived through the civil rights movement, in this unique program. Young people take inspiration from the preceding workshops and interviews they experienced to create meaningful response poems – making them immortal. Teens With a Purpose celebrates the African tradition of storytelling through performance poetry during ImmortALL poetry workshops for teens and The Hampton Roads Youth Poet Laureate Program. On March 11th, the poets showcase their response poetry event includes writing prompts for the audience participation plus OTU’s dance and song at The Wells Theatre.

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