Visual arts

Teens With a Purpose transforms experiences as people of color into performance art in Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — As we continue to honor Black History Month, some students are taking their experiences as teenagers of color in America and turning them into performance art.

Teens With a Purpose will perform song, dance and poetry on Saturday at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk.

They’ve got the lights, they’ve got the camera, but you’re going to have to wait until Saturday to see the action.

“We’re going to be staging a multimedia production called ‘OTU,'” said Deirdre Love, founder of Teens With a Purpose.

Teens With a Purpose is a creative arts youth group that uses their voices and skills to fight social ills and raise awareness through play, poetry, music and art. That’s exactly what they’re doing with their performance on Saturday.

“This is the story of a woman from this area who did something amazing,” Love said. “We are going to discover his story through the visual arts, through poetry, through movement.”

Love wanted to keep the subject matter of Saturday’s performance a secret, but her story and others like it are central to teaching young people of color a story that could have slipped through the cracks.

“Where young people come face to face with legends from the African American community of Hampton Roads and they can see their stories and reinterpret them in poetry, music, dance and art and bring them to the stage…we can keep the stories alive and make some people immortal,” Love said.

“So what people should really be looking forward to is not a show, but a chance to engage,” Love added.

And guests also expect to convey forgotten historical stories through contemporary means.

“When they take those stories and translate the time into a poem, it keeps them alive for another generation, the same way another generation learned,” Love said. “So they have a story to tell. They can keep our history alive… It’s essential.

The show is at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Chrysler Museum.

Get more information about the event here.