V2V is a summer program intended to bring together refugee teens living in Elizabeth and teens in South Orange and Maplewood, NJ for dialogue, cultural exchange, friendship and fun. Approximately 40 teens ages 14-18 met for 5 weekly, free-of-charge workshops to collaborate, create, share, and enjoy.
At the first session, the V2V teens explored the Newark Museum with a tour, and enjoyed jazz in the courtyard. The art theme continued in the second session, when the teens collaborated by tracing portraits of each other on clear plastic, then creating realistic and abstract self portraits. In the third session, the teens made their own hand-bound journals, using found materials from nature to paint the pages. We met at the South Mountain Reservation for our fourth session, taking a hike, learning to build a shelter, having a cookout and experimenting with Japanese kumihimo braiding. The fifth and final session included a writing workshop and a closing circle.
V2V wishes to thank teen librarian Emily Witkowski and the entire staff at the Maplewood Memorial Library, Jerry's Art Supply in West Orange, Elizabeth Coordinator Laila Elfane with ICNA Relief, and the many individuals who contributed time and donations to make our program a success!
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