Jubilation Fellow Carshina Washington

Carshina Washington

Multidisciplinary Artist
Chicago IL
Fellowship: 2019

“When you do things you love and are passionate about, it’s not really work.”

A Teaching Artist for 25 years, Carshina recently opened a storefront arts center, where free music, dance, and poetry classes are held. “This a diverse community with African American and Latinos, majority. I am excited to be planted here.” 

Founder of the nonprofit, Divine Purpose, her mission is to support underserved youth in the development of their skills and talents in the performing arts, and to encourage and inspire them to express their gifts. She also runs in-school and after-school programming at the local elementary school.

Teaching philosophy:
My main focus is teaching others to lead, empowering youth to do the same thing I’m doing, helping them have leadership skills, to help them in their future.

Every day I teach a drama class. I’ve got a group of 8th graders, we’re doing rhythm with drama, poetic theory, poetry, and music. Puberty, hormones… 30 eighth-graders! They wrote positive lyrics to music and beats on the radio. They love those beats, it’s about the music, but the words… not okay.

I also host community events and productions with a theme, showcasing the students. These are impoverished students, communities. We have students on meds, with behavior issues, from dysfunctional homes. I use music to help.

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