Crafting Connections with Teens
The Creative Arts Teen Summit effectively kicks off the Tucson Festival of Books each year. Just as some authors and illustrators arrange local school visits when they come to Tucson for the festival, some volunteer to provide workshops in illustration and creative writing to high school students here on campus the Friday before the festival. This is event is a collaboration between College of Education, Early Academic Outreach, UA Bookstores and, of course TFOB. We were fortunate to have the following presenters this year: Gloria Chao, Molly Idle, Marie Marquardt, Margarita Engle, Steven Engle, Rafael López, Anne Sibley O’Brien, Maya Christina Gonzalez, Juana Martinez-Neal, and a discussion panel that also included master story-teller Luis Alberto Urrea. Urrea told his story of finding his way to writing, complete with voice impressions of his cousin Hugo and his Abuelita, and implored the audience that the world needs your stories to bear witness. Along the same vein, Marquardt said, "Young adults are the ones changing the world, we need their stories." Each of the writers and illustrators is passionate in their connection with the teen students and workshop sessions are a potentially pivotal highlight for the students. Student participants are close to three-hundred in number and and they visit from ten area high schools.