This past week brought the first meet up of our newly formed Teen Muse Club, a group that will be meeting every Thursday morning, bringing together girls in both the middle and upper school. If you are not familiar, World Muse is a locally founded organization focusing on empowering, supporting, and encouraging women and girls to find their individual voices, connect with one another, and become catalysts for positive change through social activism, art, and/or business ventures. Muse clubs in the local middle and high schools have been active for years, and we are excited to finally bring this wonderful opportunity to the girls of Cascades Academy!
So what will be happening during our weekly Muse meetings? This will be a time for girls ranging from 6th-12th grade to come together and discuss anything that they feel passionate about. Issues that concern pre-teen and teen girls. Bigger social issues and topics that will lead to the creation of a social awareness campaign that may extend out to the community, and perhaps to the world. Journaling and art projects that will bring deeper understanding of themselves and their lives. The goal is to empower, inspire, and connect young girls in a way that will allow them to build confidence in expressing their individual voices, and grow into compassionate, thoughtful, and impactful young women ready to take on anything and make the world a better place through action and service.
These meetings will also be largely student-directed, though I will be a facilitator and organizer for our times together. But this is about putting the power in the hands of the girls. I hope to take a back seat once we get up and running, and I also look forward to bringing in guest speakers who will provide additional support, mentorship, and inspiration. In the coming weeks, we will be participating in an all-schools Teen Muse photography and poetry project that will be incorporated into the annual Muse Conference held each spring.
This week, Natalie Wilhelm and Else Kerkmann (of our own CACO community) came in to show pictures and talk about their experience at the women's march in Washington D.C., held a year ago. On Saturday, many marches are being organized to commemorate the anniversary and once again bring together individuals in the spirit of activism, unity, and equal human rights. Our goal for this meeting was to get the girls inspired to come out and join the march (as several had done last year in Bend), and we created posters displaying some powerful, clever, thought provoking phrases that we are all excited to carry with us downtown this weekend.
Currently, our group is meeting during the school day, Thursdays from 9:55-10:45 and is open to any interested girl from 6th to 12th grade. We are always happy to take on more girls and welcome anyone who is interested to come check it out, as it is during prep/study hall for MS/US. Additionally, anyone who feels they (or someone they know) have something to offer to this club in any capacity is welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Amy Meadow, PK-12 Art Teacher