Starting his passion for spoken word as a teenager, Alexei combines two decades of writing, recording, performance, collaboration, artistic philosophy and technique to incorporate within each residency. Over the past ten years he has worked closely with students to help them find their distinct artistic voices, patiently guiding each artist from the earliest stages of opening one’s own imagination, to the final presentation of a well-crafted product of expression, be it on the page or on the stage.
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“My motivation for teaching young people the arts stems from my personal experience with art being both marginalized in school and also being the single most powerful element of change and empowerment. Being Mixed/Multiracial helped to lead me on a lifelong quest to explore my identity at a young age, and art (and more specifically, music) have helped me process and understand that identity. When I create works of art about meaningful things and then share it with others, I can simultaneously celebrate who I am and learn more about myself and others around me.”
At age fifteen, Alexei Moon Casselle AKA Crescent Moon committed to the craft of being an emcee, dedicating himself to mastering the art of writing and performing rap songs. Since then, he has toured North America and Western Europe extensively, played hundreds of concerts as a frontman/lead vocalist, as well as a backing vocalist for revered hip-hop acts Eyedea & Abilities and Atmosphere. Casselle has recorded and released over twenty albums with various hip-hop groups, as well as with folk/Americana band Roma di Luna that he co-led as a singer/songwriter with Channy Leaneagh (POLIÇA). Some of his current projects include Kill The Vultures and Mixed Blood Majority.
This is a creative writing workshop that uses the power of the spoken word to explore self-identity as a means of self-empowerment and community building. Suitable for any level of experience and background with writing and performance, this workshop emphasizes personal experience and collective wisdom over conventional measures of expertise. Utilizing creative writing techniques, group discussion, art analysis, social commentary, critical thinking, and community building activities, we will investigate all branches of the human identity. In the context of modern American society in which so many of our young people are disempowered and virtually voiceless, this workshop aims to be a kind of starter kit for reversing trends of silence and marginalization of people of color, women, socioeconomically disadvantaged people, nonconforming gender types and sexual orientations, and other historically oppressed groups.
Note: Historically, this workshop works best with grades 6-12, but this may vary based on each group’s level of maturity, perception of safety by individuals in a group, and level of collective trust within a community. The only requirements for this workshop to be successful is a willingness to take risks and enter into it with an open mind.