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Slam Out Loud
Changing Lives Through the Arts
Jigyasa Labroo, Co-Founder
"I imagine a future where there will be no boundaries, no borders but one land, one religion, humanity, and love. It'll be a world where everyone understands the real meaning of arts and education.
A world where instead of blaming the government we’ll find the root cause of problems and solve them together instead of leaving everything for the government to handle. A world where every individual will be aware of themselves and the world. I imagine a future where everyone including me is themselves and no one is lost in becoming somebody they are not. I imagine a future in which we inspire and are inspired by each other every day."
- Supriya, a Slam Out Loud student
Children from disadvantaged backgrounds face a lack of engaging opportunities to build creative confidence and are thereby disempowered to harness their voices to break the cycle of negative outcomes.
A combination of childhood circumstances (such as poverty, poor mental and physical health, etc.), various ecosystem challenges (such as globalization and conflict) and the fact that our education system does not cater to the requirements of current opportunities further perpetuates this cycle. Studies show that 47% of India’s 6.8 crore graduates are unemployable for any industry role (Aspiring Minds, 2013.) Art education has globally proved to build in children skills that help them be more employable and have better life outcomes, and without it children are 2X more likely to slip into poverty and 8X more likely to be in prison (Improved Academic Performance for Students with High Levels of Arts Involvement Americans for the Arts (2013), The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth, National Endowment for the Arts (2012)). Yet the average Art teacher: student ratio in India is 1:1400 ( according to an RTI filed by Slam Out Loud), giving children less than 20 hours of art education every year.
Slam Out Loud uses art forms like poetry, storytelling, visual arts, and theatre to help children aged 10-17 from disadvantaged communities find their voice. We work with professional artists and e-learning resources to help children build creative confidence.
The Jijivisha Fellowship is our flagship program in which we work with professional artists help inculcate essential life skills to children from low-income backgrounds through the art forms of poetry, storytelling, theatre, visual arts, and photography. So far, through the program, we have worked with 100 artists and 6500 children across India.
Each artist works with a group of approximately 30 students for a period of 1 year. The program expands into a 5-year intervention with a relay model. Through this, the students receive 108+ hours of arts-based learning per year. The program enables us to create assets and public goods. We scale them through our project, Voice For All.
Voice For All brings together e-learning and community platforms. In Voice for All, children create and share original artwork upon completion of tech-based courses that are interactive, accessible in regional languages, free of cost, and adaptable to context. Art Melas provide an opportunity to showcase this art as well as the children's learning. With Pratham as our distribution partner, our first theatre course has been launched in 950 villages across Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra reaching out to 50,000 children.
Slam Out Loud has worked with children across ten states in India, with over 15,000 original artworks created, and performances done for a cumulative audience of 35,000. 100% of our fellows feel that they are contributing to social change and 95% of our students feel that they have learnt new skills, concepts, and ideas through our programs, which makes us believe that we are creating sustainable change in their learning environments and will inspire both artists and children to become lifelong leaders in the arts and education.
We have worked with children and youth from low-income communities and conflict areas, Departments of Education of Kashmir and Maharashtra, parents, jail inmates, out of school children, and college going students. 15 of our children have been TedX speakers, and the children have facilitated nearly 50 art workshops for adults and other children.
To find out more:
- The Swaddle | 14‑Year‑Olds Running Slam Poetry Workshops Prove Arts Education Shouldn’t Be an Afterthought
- NDTV | Slam Out Loud Brings Arts Into Education
- The Indian Express | Slam Out Loud: Changing the World Through Poetry