An Evening of Transformative Arts

This event occurred in the past

An Evening of Transformative Arts

This event occurred in the past

Date and Time

  • Thursday, November 12, 2015 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.


Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, Peace & Justice Theatre

5998 Alcala Park San Diego, CA 92110




Street Poets

Street Poets Inc.'s violence prevention-themed poetry performance group, composed of formerly incarcerated workshop alumni and staff, performed their original work which focuses on the themes of rebirth, healing, love and gratitude, and truth and justice. The group's performance is a riveting celebration of the transformational power of the written word. 


transcenDANCE Youth Arts Project presented an excerpt from its most recent performance, ME to WE, a CREATE program dance performance. The performance was the culminating event of an exploration into the themes of empathy and vulnerability that highlights youth voice, creative writing and personal storytelling in a dynamic dance theatre performance. Inspired by the Museum of Photographic Arts’ groundbreaking multimedia exhibition 7 Billion Others, transcenDANCE student dancers embarked on a creative process that included technical dance training, team building, leadership development and a unique expressive arts-based psycho/social change curriculum. The culminating performance featured contemporary hip-hop and modern dance pieces were accompanied by live music and original media content.

Taylor Code first connected with Street Poets almost 20 years ago as a 16-year-old participant in their writing workshop at an L.A. County juvenile detention camp. Today, Code serves as a teaching artist and restorative justice advocate for Street Poets. An accomplished poet and rapper, Code is a founding member of Street Poets’ spoken-word performance group and has shared his redemptive story and creative work at numerous venues throughout the nation. He has served as an expert speaker, panelist and presenter in the areas of gang intervention and recovery.

Catherine Corral co-founded the community arts nonprofit organization, transcenDANCE, in 2005 to combine dance theatre and performance with community building, youth leadership and social change in San Diego. Corral has served as executive/artistic director and to date has co-directed 10 of transcenDANCE’S original productions. In 2010, she was named one of the top 35 under 35 Community Leaders of San Diego by the San Diego News Network. Corral is inspired by her collective experiences in movement education and healing practices, and has integrated mindfulness practices into the transcenDANCE curriculum.

Mayda Del Valle, teaching artist for Street Poets, is a widely acclaimed poet/performer. She has appeared on Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam on HBO and was a contributing writer and original cast member of the Tony Award-winning Def Poetry Jam on Broadway. In 2009 she was invited to perform at the White House for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Del Valle has served as a teaching artist with Street Poets since 2011, leading workshops in high schools and probation camps. She is currently pursuing an MFA in creative writing at California Institute of the Arts.

Chris Henrikson, founder and executive director of Street Poets, Inc., has over 20 years of experience teaching poetry and mentoring highly at-risk youth and young adults within and around the Los Angeles County juvenile justice system. Henrikson was inspired to create Street Poets in 1995 after a volunteer teaching stint in a Los Angeles County juvenile detention camp. He has spoken at numerous conferences and panels on youth rites of passage, arts-based intervention strategies, multicultural community building, restorative justice practices and alternatives to incarceration.

Chirag Menon, program director at Street Poets, is a recording/performing artist, writer and educator. He oversees and coordinates Street Poets’ school-based workshops, probation camp programs and community outreach efforts. As an artist, Menon has recorded and released eight albums, both solo and with hip-hop groups. He was featured in the landmark South Asian-American documentary Brown Like Dat, and was invited to return to his home country of India to speak and perform at the Goa Literary Festival.  Since 2011, Menon has been facilitating retreats at colleges throughout the U.S. via the Posse Foundation.

Art Quiros, recording studio supervisor and youth outreach associate for Street Poets, Inc., is a rapper, poet, sound engineer and music producer. He first stepped inside a recording booth at age 16 and fell in love with the process of making music. Quiros has recorded, produced and performed on all of Street Poets’ compilation albums since 2007, and oversees the organization’s recording studio program and Poetry in Motion van outreach. He continues to write, perform and produce music for Los Angeles' underground hip-hop scene. Incarcerated for one year as a young adult, Quiros embodies the redemptive spirit of the Street Poets community he serves.

transcenDANCE Youth Arts Project empowers youth to mobilize social change through dance and performance in under-served San Diego communities. It was founded in 2005 and is a pioneering creative youth development organization, with headquarters in National City at the campus of ARTS: A Reason to Survive. transcenDANCE runs programs year-round both in schools and in after-school programs. transcenDANCE youth go through intensive technical dance theatre training and personal exploration by way of leadership development, community-building activities and service projects — with the ultimate goal of creating dynamic performances that synthesize their artistic strengths while addressing complex social issues that impact their community. 

Street Poets Inc. is an L.A.-based, nonprofit peacemaking organization that harnesses the healing power of poetry and music to transform lives and communities. Started in a Los Angeles County juvenile detention camp in 1995, Street Poets facilitates performances and writing workshops for incarcerated and at-risk youth in schools, juvenile halls, the streets of L.A. and beyond. The organization also mentors youth and leads rites-of-passage retreats. Street Poets Inc. was the 2013 recipient of the Cultural Fluency Award from Mount St. Mary's College, as well as the 2003 recipient of the John Anson Ford Human Relations Award from the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations.



Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies


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