Community Arts Partner

Participant Details

Community Arts Partner Name
Kathya Alexander
Partner Type
Individual
Profile Photo
Individual Bio or
Organizational Statement
Kathya Alexander, a writer, actor, storyteller, and teaching artist, was Writer-in-Residence at  Hedgebrook Women Writer’s Retreat, chosen for Freehold Studio’s Diversity Scholarship, and won the Fringe First Award for Black to My Roots: African American Tales From The Head And The Heart at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland. She has also won awards from Jack Straw, 4Culture, the Office of Arts and Culture, and Seattle Parks and Recreation. Her writing has appeared in Raising Lily Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace, the South Seattle Emerald, the Pitkin Review, Native Skin, Arkana Magazine, and ColorsNW Magazine. She is the author of Angel In The Outhouse, a collection of short stories available on Amazon. Kathya’s plays include Black D*ck Matters; David & Jonathan: A Modern Day Re-Telling of the Biblical Story; Dream’n (hip hop adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream set in Rainier Valley); HumaNature; Native Sons & Daughters, part of the Intiman’s American Cycle series; HomeGoing; emotionalblackmale; Nappy Roots: A Fairy Tale; and Hands Up! for Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative. She has a BA in Speech Communication and an MFA in Creative Writing. Kathya is a member of the African American Writers Alliance and the Seattle Storytellers Guild.

Contact Information

First Name
Kathya
Last Name
Alexander
Address
2211 S. LANE ST
Address 2
APT A
City
SEATTLE
State
WA
Zip
98144
Phone
206-351-5358

Grade Levels Preferred

Grade Levels Preferred
K-2, 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, 9th - 12th

Artistic Disciplines

Type
Stories/lectures based on the Civil Rights Movement told from a child's perspective Original plays for youth (K-12) Writing instructor (3rd-12th) Spoken Word/Storytelling for youth (K-12) Poetry for youth (3rd-12th)
Discipline
Literary Art or Spoken Word/Performance Poetry, Theater

Experience

Previous School Partnerships
Aki Kurose Middle School

Beacon Hill International Elementary

Cleveland High School Graham Hill Elementary John Muir Elementary Magnolia Elementary Maple Elementary Rainier Beach High School
Other Trainings or Certifications
Sample Lesson Description: Student / Classroom Residencies
BIG IDEA: Writing and staging a play introduces students to team-work, decision-making and creative problem-solving, giving them ownership and a sense of responsibility over their work. OBJECTIVES (What will the students know and be able to do) Over-all Objective: (K-3) Students will be able to perform a 15 minute original play with assistance from the teacher (3rd grade up) Students will be able to perform a 20-25 minutes (after-school) original script without any assistance from the teacher. Session Objectives:
  1. Students will project their voices during the performance
  2. Students will be able to use their bodies to express character 
  3. Students will be able to perform from beginning to end the show without any outside assistance (Memorization)
  4. Students will help each other to succeed in the show
  5. Students will understand rhythm and how it affects the show
  6. Students will be able to think critically of their progress and give constructive feedback and self-assessments.
Assessment Criteria: (What will I observe in my students that tells me they are meeting the objectives) Objective 1: 
  • I can hear each student from the very back of the room
  • Students off-stage can hear their cues when they happen on stage
Objective 2: 
  • Students will use their whole bodies when performing actions on stage and create shapes different to their own.
  • Students will continue making bold physical choices while rehearsing their scripts, choices that fit their characters and story-lines.
Objectives 3-4:
  • Students are able to remind each other of their lines
  • Students are able to improvise lines that move the story forward
Objective 5:
  • Students make only appropriate pauses during the show and are able to pick up their cues.
Objective 6:
  • Students will refer to the assessment criteria (set by the teacher)  while giving feedback as opposed to personal taste (What they see instead of how they react.) 
  • Students are able to relate the exercises to the learning objectives.  
Vocabulary: Character, dialogue, conflict, plot, audience, movement, voice, character development
Sample Workshop Description: Teacher Professional Development

Areas of Experience and Expertise

Approved Professional Development Provider
No
Approved Classroom Residency Provider
Yes

Lesson Plan

Integrated Art
Cultural Art

Teaching Approach

Teaching Philosophy + Approach
I have been a teaching artist for 20+ years. My philosophy of teaching art is to empower youth to take ownership of the process by including them in all aspects of the production. Youth decide the idea of the play they want to do, choose their characters,  improvise the script, aid in selection of music, choreography, light and sound depending on their interests. I work mainly with youth aged 5-18. I enjoy working with youth because their minds are so open without the censor that we get as adults, so it helps me as a writer to quiet my own censor. I work often with youth of color and at-risk kids from low socioeconomic backgrounds. I have worked with youth involved in the juvenile justice system to create plays about their life experiences and taught youth to be journalists to interview unsung heroes in the Rainier Valley. A lot of the youth I've worked with have been from the Rainier Valley and the Central District, the most diverse and underserved areas of the city. I consider my experience working with diverse populations and students with no previous acting experience my strongest assets.
Curriculum Integration Possibilities
Math Geography Science English Literature Music Art Dance Athletics
Special Skills and Areas of Expertise
My greatest strength is working with diverse underserved populations, disadvantaged youth, youth affected by the criminal justice system and other forms of violence, youth with behavioral problems, ELL, and special education populations
Testimonials from Schools
Kathya used nuanced humor and song to provide the audience with a glimpse into the first-hand experiences of normal people living through and being a part of the Civil Rights Movement. Her ability to adapt her stories to a classroom setting was also remarkable; she provided a self-contained history and social justice lesson while spinning a tale that captivated adults and children alike. – Cultural Center Director at Whitman College I was inspired to write this because Ms. Alexander held a writing workshop at Maple Elementary. I hadn’t really written the type of writing I submitted since I attended Chief Stealth High School in 1992. When I attempt to write I feel I have a lot of grammatical errors due to my starting life as an ELL student. I whole heartedly appreciate you choosing my piece of writing for your mothers day edition of your paper.  Teaching Assistant after I submitted her poem to the South Seattle Emerald for publication I really enjoyed listening to your story.  One of my favorite parts was how you didn’t understand why you were treated so poorly by whites.  I especially liked your style of storytelling.  It was very active.  You always kept me laughing. – Middle Schooler at Lake Washington

Fees

Fees
$2500 for residency (negotiable) $500/day for full day/5 classes (negotiable) $350 for assembly (negotiable)

Images

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Blood Red Riding Hood - original play at Orca K-8
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writing class at Sand Point
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Civil Rights storytelling with Whitman Middle School students for Black History Month
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Dream'n (hip hop adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream) w/Rainier Valley Youth Theater
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Dream'n (hip hop adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream) w/Rainier Valley Youth Theater

Video

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