Chewstick branches out to nurture young talent through TWIGS
Chewstick is welcoming the next generation of writers and poets, by kicking off a new youth programme this Saturday at its headquarters.
True Wisdom in Growing Souls (TWIGS) is for people under the age of 18.
Sessions will take place on the second Saturday of every month, and will give the next generation a chance to showcase their talents in the same format as Chewstick’s Sunday night open-mic jam sessions. TWIGS is meant to empower younger artists to take ownership of their talents, and give them a positive social outlet that can help them to grow and connect with each other.
A youth team coordinated by staff at the Chewstick Foundation, will produce an evening that is focused on celebrating the talents, accomplishments and skills of their peers.
“During their traverses through Bermuda’s schools (both public and private) and collaborations with other youth-focused organisations, The Chewstick Foundation, has come across a great many young people, eager to share their talents with their contemporaries and the community,” said Chewstick Foundation founder Gavin Djata Smith.
“Unfortunately, there are very few opportunities for young people to get together socially in a positive atmosphere, and even fewer chances for them to share their talents in a safe, fun and organic way. In addition, it is difficult for young people to make it out to our Sunday open-mics because of their age and the fact that it’s a school night.”
He continued: “We are looking forward to helping to mentor the next generation of storytellers.”
The team helping to coordinate the evening includes students aged 14 to 18 from the Berkeley Institute, Warwick Academy, Mount Saint Agnes Academy, Bermuda Institute and home-schooled students.
“Each individual team member has a passion for performing and a gift for telling their stories well,” said Chewstick administrator Deidra-Lee Bean. “The team of young talent is simply awe-inspiring. I anticipate being blown away by the unique insight into the minds of Bermuda’s youth.”
The first TWIGS evening will be hosted by Chewstick volunteer Kevina-Lorae’ Davis. She will be joined by a number of artistic teens including singer and songwriter Emma Keane, dancers The Bermuda Squad and rappers Tha Infamous Nerdz.
“Each of these young people is moving forward making their individual mark on the world scene of self-expression via social media, online music outlets and collaborations with friends and local bands, but they rarely get to share those talents live, and certainly not in a space as purpose-built as the increasingly influential Chewstick facility,” said Ms Bean.
Those interested in performing need to get there early and sign up. There is a dedicated backline (drums, keyboard, bass and guitar amps) at the fully equipped Chewstick Lounge, and youth are encouraged to bring their tracks, guitars or whatever they need to shine.
This TWIGS evening is free. Soft drinks and snacks will be available for purchase; donations toward the Chewstick Foundation’s programmes and infrastructure appreciated. Adults are encouraged to attend, but only if accompanied by a young person.
The event will be held at the Chewstick Neo-Griot Lounge and Cafe on the corner of Court Street and Elliott Street from 6pm to 10pm. Further TWIGS events will be held on December 10, and January 14. For the complete TWIGS schedule and further information visit www.chewstick.org, call 292-2439 or e-mail info[AT]chewstick.org.