Listen 16 min
Harpist and composer Nicolas Carter is a theater arts educator. He began this work in the Minneapolis public schools. Last year he received a Fulbright Scholarship to introduce the Neighborhood Bridges Program to children in Uruguay schools in various socio-economic areas.
The goal of the program was to teach children through theater and music how to develop not only writing skills, creativity, and self-expression but tolerance, understanding, and cooperation with others in reaching our goals.
A major goal of the program was to connect children from different social and economic cultures. Nicolas worked with children from three different schools. One school was located in a poverty area in the city. Another was in the city in an opulent area. A third school was located in a rural area. The children each had pen pals with children of other schools, giving them exposure to different environments and life circumstances, and fostering awareness and understanding!
At the end of the program there was a group festival. The children from the three schools came together, each performing a story that related to themes they experience in their lives. The kids themselves selected their stories, and Nicolas guided them to select a heart-centered story, introducing in their skit the symbol of the sun, an image representing spirituality and the heart. Families and community members came to the performance, and it brought many hearts together in a transformational way.
Nicolas received many beautiful letters of appreciation from the community about the performance.
In Nicolas' words, "Creating something together, you have a transformation. Ideas become something to show and share with other people. We see the power we have to create and transform and make a difference. It touches your heart."
Thank you, Nicolas, for sharing your experiences with us!
Listen 16 min
To view an inspiring documentary of Nicolas Carter 's work with children's arts, click on the links below.
This video shows what Heart Centered education is! The children chant together "I am light", and learn confidence with stories, songs and art.
They are in Spanish with English subtitles:
On Vimeo: Nicolas Carter documentary on neighborhood bridges program
On You tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOO-8nt6DhI