Every once in a while you leave an event with a glowing heart and know something special occurred. I had that feeling last Saturday night, when the Teen Exchange presented Youth Arts Night 2011. The event featured a mixed bill of artistic talent from local young artists and the Teen Exchange’s own choreography. Building on the tradition of encouraging individual voices and celebrating creativity, the producer, TX member Molly Barth sought out groups with talent and enthusiasm. A spectrum of backgrounds, talents and ages were represented in a line-up that included Intonation, a youth-led a cappella group; Yesodot, an Israeli dance troupe; and the YMCA-supported dance group from Dr. Rayner Browne Elementary in Baltimore. Each offering was unique and shared with joy, passion and praise for youth arts and a community coming together.
I’ve had the privilege to lead and be led by the creativity, tenacity and vision of the Teen Exchange over the last year. This time of year, when schedules shift as school ends, students graduate and the summer yawns before us, turns me reflective. I ponder how each step along the the year’s path is a cumulative event and a progression in our lives as we connect and build relationships. Last Saturday night, all those who met in that dance studio and celebrated youth arts got just a little bit closer. What a gift.