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Living Arts 72215 4Recently, Paradise Valley’s Carr Center along with the University of Michigan Living Arts Community hosted 20 high school students from Michigan, New York, Florida and the Netherlands for a 2-week interdisciplinary summer program.

As a component of its Summer Arts Academy, the Carr Center hosted the Living Arts Summer Residential Lab (LASRL) at its location in downtown Detroit.

“We were extremely excited about this addition to our summer arts education program, about exposing this group of young people to all that we have at the Carr and to the excitement of being in downtown Detroit,” said Oliver Ragsdale, Jr., Carr Center president.

Mentors, guest presenters and workshops in the visual and performing arts were provided throughout the week. The hope of the program was to encourage students to begin to see the utility of the creative process for addressing issues and problems outside a specific discipline.

Students were exposed to urban life and art through practical application and experience. Working in interdisciplinary teams, students worked on themed projects throughout their time in the city. Arduino workshops, music studios, editing labs, and use of photography and filmmaking equipment were just some of the themes offered.

“In addition to students [who are] new to us and new to Detroit, we were most pleased that students from our summer Visual Arts and Jazz academies are expanding their worlds by participating in this exciting program. It is certainly an experience that they won’t forget, and will significantly enhance their creative portfolios,” added Ragsdale.

The program included rising sophomore, junior and senior students who learned various approaches to the creative process in a collaborative, yet interdisciplinary environment.

“You can sit on cardboard? Something, I never imagined,” said Frasier Stevens sharing one of the new idea he learned about. He is also a young pianist who this summer completed his second year in the Carr Center’s Summer Jazz Academy. “I believe that I’ve possibly made some long-term friends that I’ll continue to text and keep in contact with.”

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