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The Daniel Morrison Fellows « Medicine Wheel Productions

Daniel Morrison Fellows

 

tmp_photo-1448148757As an artist and a poet, my brother Dan Morrison would have supported the mission of Medicine Wheel, because he understood the transformative power of the creative act in community.” – Linda Zug

The Daniel Morrison Fellows Program provides meaningful full-time employment to young people over the age of 18 who have “aged-out” of the youth services program, which refers young participants to Medicine Wheel Productions’ Youth Public Arts Internship Program. In most cases, when a young person ages-out of a program, they still lack the skill sets and experience necessary to retain meaningful employment. The Daniel Morrison Fellows will obtain the depth of experience of a full-time job and will also participate in the job-readiness training offered in the Public Arts Internship Program.

The Daniel Morrison Fellows Program has the following expectations and goals:

  • Education – Many of the participants in this program have not finished high school. Medicine Wheel requires the participants to be enrolled in a high school certificate or GED program. Medicine Wheel has a partnership with the Notre Dame Educational Academy.
  • College Education – Through our graduate/undergraduate internship partnership with Lesley University, participants may also register for courses at Lesley. We required participants to continue their education path by taking advantage of this opportunity.
  • Advocacy and Community Outreach – Through participation in both the Medicine Wheel Public Art Internship Program and the Daniel Morrison Fellows Program, our young people are called to recognize their roll in creative inclusive communities.
  • Job Placement – The Medicine Wheel Case Management Team helps the Daniel Morrison Fellows participants in researching and identifying future job opportunities and makes referrals to career placement resources.

The Daniel Morrison Fellows Program is made up of the following components:

  • Mentorship by Professional Artists – Our teaching staff is compromised of professional artists who have been trained to work with young people coming from all backgrounds and life experiences.
  • Public Art Projects – The young people who participate in our program assist with many public art projects.
  • Civic Engagement – Part of the our mission is to ensure that young people feel connected to and engaged in their community.
  • Job Training – The importance of responsibility, time management, and job readiness are at the core of our day-to-day program. Additionally, we offer workshops that focus on both personal and professional development.
  • Case Management – We recognize that our young people come to Medicine Wheel bearing serious burdens in life. Our Case Management Team works with our young people to connect them with community resources and liaises between other support systems that might exists in their life.

Students are recruited through ABCD, Boston Youth Fund, Department of Youth Services, and through word-of-mouth in the community. Most continue with the program for 2 or 3 years. An important aspect of the program is building a bridge between the community and the school in a city where very few students attend school in their own neighborhood. About half the students are girls and half boys. Racial breakdown is approximately 40% white, 40% black, 10% Hispanic and 10% Asian or other.

In 2002 the program was awarded the Boston Peace Party Community Star Award from the Harvard Youth Violence Prevention Center for outstanding work in fostering peaceful neighborhoods. It was also honored by Boston’s former Mayor Thomas Menino on the occasion of receiving the city’s only 3-year Safe Neighborhoods Youth Fund Grant. In February 2014, Mayor Marty Walsh endorsed this program while being honored at Medicine Wheel.

Through working on Medicine Wheel’s public art projects and becoming familiar with critical concepts like community, inclusion, acceptance of self and other, mindfulness, and accountability, participants in the Daniel Morrison Fellows program are invited to recognize that they have great capabilities within them. We bring together components of Mentorship, Public Art, Civic Engagement, Job Training & Readiness, Personal Development, and Case Management to offer a holistic experience where this recognition may take place. Participants work together on projects, which focus on community, and on individual art project, which invite introspection.

If you or your organization or foundation would like you help support this program, endorsed by Mayor Marty Walsh, please contact info@mwproductions.org  for more information.





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