THE POWER OF ORANGE - THE FESTIVAL PRODUCERS
The Yes I Can (YIC) Unity Through Music, Art & Education program at Canyon High School partners students with a range of disabilities, primarily students on the Autism Spectrum, with general education peer mentors. Most students on the Autism Spectrum have Asperger’s Syndrome, often referred to as high-functioning Autism. This is a neurological disorder that is characterized by significant challenges in communication and social interaction. While often gifted academically, students on the spectrum struggle socially and find it difficult to foster relationships and communicate with peers. The goal is to build healthy peer relationships, develop social, communication, and transitional skills, while fostering an appreciation of art and diversity. They use the Summer Meltdown as an annual event to test the skills they have aquired through the school year. Over the past thirteen years, YIC has touched the lives of close to 2,000 students.
During the school year, the YIC program invites professionals in the music business to teach lessons on production, booking, logistics, merchandising, security, and promotion. Students get to spend direct time in front of some of the industries most eliete and get to ask every question they can think of. Students then put those methods into practice during the planing and execution of the Summer Meltdown.
Throughout the school year, the YIC program also invites professional painters and illustrators to hold socially inclusive art workshops. The artists work hand-in-hand with the students to mentor them and to help them create both individual and collaborative art pieces. The goal is to visually and artistically promote socially-conscious messages aligned with the YIC motto of Unity through Music, Art, and Education and to proudly celebrate Autism Awareness in their school and community, leading up to the month of April: Autism Awareness Month.
Through the art workshops, the YIC students are taught transitional and life-skills necessary for future success: effective communication, goal setting, self-determination and the benefits of collaboration. The students accomplish these by learning and developing social and communication skills while working as a team. The students collaborate and brainstorm images/ and themes such as, anti-bullying messages, quotes of acceptance, unity, diversity, and autism awareness to be created and displayed for their peers and community.
The students are challenged to sometimes work together, learning to accommodate all personalities and ability levels, to use their imaginations and creativity; sometimes they are challenged to work alone, forcing the students to be independent and original. It takes patience, clear communication, and teamwork to effectively complete the projects. These workshops target a significant number of students with and without disabilities (75 YIC students and over 2,000 peers within the high school), providing the ultimate goal of teaching students to be successful by using creativity to effectively work both collaboratively and independently.
WHEN YOU SEE A KID WEARING AN ORANGE METLDOWN SHIRT - REALIZE - IT'S THE KIDS WHO PRODUCE THIS FESTIVAL FOR YOU