Extracting the Gold Inherent Within
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Blowing their Dreams into the Vessel

Prior to working through a myth (the myth eventually works through us), we drum for a little while, then greet the youth. Following this, all in silence, we have a symbolic cleansing. After the cleansing we pass the vessel around for the youth to blow their dreams into the vessel. The youth sit in a circle by age, youngest to oldest. When they initially receive the vessel, all hands are raised for a brief few seconds with their palms blessing the youth in possession of the vessel. Once the vessel reaches the youngest, our hands remain in the air, with the intention of the youngest feeling he is most protected by the group.

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Urban Youth Use Myths and Drums to Become Men

Drawing power from mythological stories and self-disclosure, this award-winning mentoring program transforms teens into community leaders.

Dressed in black shirts with a prominent red and white ring across the chest, they sit in a circle, in a classroom, banging their hands against tilted djembe drums. One would think this group of young men was a Black drumming group, but something larger is happening here. These urban young men are participating in a mentoring program run by Alchemy, Inc, which uses the power of Myth, journaling, and drums to unlock their potential. Although most of the students are Black, and their favored instrument has West African origins, the group is open to any male students at the school. (Alchemy has run programs for girls before and intends to launch new ones soon.)

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The Purpose of Myth: Interview with Dennis Slattery

What is the purpose of myth? How is it used? Listen to Dennis Patrick Slattery Ph.D., who is a core faculty member at Pacifica Graduate Institute who helped shape the development of the Mythological Studies program. He is the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of 17 books, including four volumes of poetry. Visit dennispslattery.com

Becoming Our Own Heroes with Myths and Rhythm with G. Kwame Scruggs and Catón Lyles

G. Kwame Scruggs (of Alchemy Inc. from Ohio, also a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards recipient) collaborated with Caldera teaching artist Catón Lyles during an In-School Residency at partner school Open School North. With their guidance and through West African drumming, groups of students explored the common themes in myths, the knowledge that is passed from generation to generation through storytelling, and how those stories applied to lessons they’ve learned in their own lives.

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