November 16, 2021

#NonprofitNovember: Express Yourself Inc.

by joeyphoenix

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#NonprofitNovember is highlighting Creative Collective’s nonprofit Business Members in a series of featured interviews. These short features will grant some insight into how these nonprofits have grown and developed through the years and how they plan to use what they’ve learned to further their respective missions in 2022. 

This Holiday season, follow the hashtag #NonprofitNovember to learn more about the nonprofit organizations in the communities, and discover how to support their ongoing efforts in a meaningful way. 

These answers are the collective thoughts of Co-Executive Directors Stan Strickland and Paula Conrad (founder) who serve as artistic directors of the organization. Express Yourself immerses young people in the arts were they find a powerful tool for self expression , uncover inner strength, and deepen connection with others.

What’s something you are proud of / something you achieved this year as an organization?

We are very proud that Express Yourself was able to engage and continue services while still maintaining artistic excellence for youth on a variety of multi disciplinary art levels. We added in-person sessions with all safety protocols while maintaining high spirts and enthusiastic participation. After 28 years of live performance at the Wang Theater (Boch Center) and last years all virtual performance, we pivoted to a DRIVE IN celebration for youth and their families at the North Shore Music Theater. The drive in performance was a compilation of artistic experiences with over 350 youth from the community and in therapeutic residential settings.

Tell us a time that you saw your vision in action?

Each May we see our vision in action after a full year’s exploration of the arts at our grand performance at the Wang Theater. Youth stand together to perform and are seen and heard. This year’s creative staff, guest artists, and youth all collaborated in a variety of creative formats to create this video- captured by videographer James Maroney. Seeing the youth and their families live for the first week as the pandemic lifted driving into the parking lot at the North Shore Music Theater to see the final performance was a cause for celebration. Creative thought and facilitation of this idea didn’t let the youth or their families down.

What’s something you would like your followers to know about your organization that they may not already know?

Express Yourself works with at risk youth and those with mental illness are celebrated for their strengths and resilience. The skills that are honed and nurtured through multi disciplinary arts lead to social skills, self esteem, physical awareness, artistic development, etc., are life transforming and enduring.

Who is your organization for?

For youth from all walks of life, especially those with social and emotional challenges who benefit from a safe, inclusive, artistic environment.

Where can people find out more about your organization and support its ongoing efforts?

Creative Collective’s 2021 #StayLocal Campaign

Initiative encourages community to shop small and support local small businesses this November and December

It’s time for #StayLocal2021 – follow the hashtag for the best of local eats, drinks, experiences, and shopping North of Boston.

The approaching Holiday season is putting people in the shopping, eating, and drinking mood as small businesses across the North Shore are gearing up for the busiest time of the year. Following up the successful 2020 #StayLocal campaign, Creative Collective is launching #StayLocal2021, encouraging individuals to shop and support small this upcoming holiday season. Learn more.