What is Be the Street?
Be the Street is a community-based performance project based in the Hilltop neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio. The program was piloted in 2016 through an Ohio State University Arts and Humanities Discovery Themes Grant and was led by a team of faculty researchers including Ana Puga (Theatre/Spanish and Portuguese), Harmony Bench (Dance), Katey Borland(Comparative Studies), Elena Foulis (Spanish and Portuguese), Paloma Martínez-Cruz (Spanish and Portuguese), and Shilarna Stokes (Theatre). Moriah Flagler joined the team in 2018 as postdoctoral researcher and artistic director. Each spring they guide a group of graduate students who facilitate performance and storytelling workshops with Hilltop community partner groups, which have included the Hilltop Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, the YMCA, Our Lady of Guadalupe Center, Clean Turn, and West High School. The project culminates each year in a public sharing. 2018's sharing was held at Third Way Cafe, and 2019's was held at OSU's STEAM Factory.
For the past two years, I have had the pleasure of working as a deviser and facilitator and meeting and working with dozens of local teenagers at the Hilltop Library.