Performing Arts for Social Change is a program whose mission is to raise awareness and educate by giving a voice to important societal issues that are often overlooked. We do this through the creation and development of performance pieces that serve as teaching moments for the people involved in the creative process as well as for the audiences who view it.
Founded in March of 2007 by Cynthia Henderson, associate professor at Ithaca College, and modeled after concepts of Augusto Boal's "Theater of the Oppressed," Performing Arts for Social Change is theater, music and dance that offer’s a forum to groups in a community who are often not heard. We do this by working with communities and creating pieces that are inspired by their words and specific to their experiences. We have worked with elementary school children in underfunded schools, gang members in New York City, incarcerated youth in upstate New York, and women's groups in Central Africa. Topics have included AIDS education and women's empowerment in Cameroon, poverty and powerlessness in New York City as well as violence and racism across America.