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Inaugural Award's Ceremony

Teaching Artists that Change the Game

You can just turn on your television you'll see the effects that isolation, self-inflicted hatred and violence, poor mental health, bullying, suicide, lack of support and humanity has on a larger society. It is now, that we can expect an spontaneous mass shooting in public spaces as casual as the cocks crowing in the morning air, and in fact we've come to learn since the Washington DC sniper that this level of danger American citizens are exposed to have no boundaries.

Na├»ve. Mopey. Argumentative. Sensitive. Dreamer. Unsettled.
Invincible. Triumphant. 
Popular music and culture which dominates about 75% of our networks only scratch the surface of these topics through creative mediums that seem to amplify its existence more so than deter it.

However, Native Washingtonian and predecessor of spoken word and rap music culture, Gil Scott Heron said it best in the 1970's when stated that The Revolution will not be Televised.

Art has on record, transformed lives throughout generations: boldly, powerfully and with an influence on our nations ethical infrastructure, that has been our saving grace.
Art is healing, it breaks barriers, harmonizes a people, strengthens the mind and will and challenges any threat of sustainability to the human race. We've seen examples of this in masterpiece works from figures like Michael Jackson, the Beatles, Toni Morrison, Elton John, Denzel Washington, Ntzoke Shange, Idris Elba, Steven Spielberg, Steve McQueen, Shonda Rhimes, Tyler Perry and so on.
Works that have helped reform and inspire the goodness we see in our World today. Reform leaders are beginning to recognize the arts for it's true worth and value in educational programming, it's efficacy in our efforts for social reform and the need for its presence in the Modern day culture.

Scene: Poetry from Standing on the Edge 
In Prince George's County Maryland, Ayesis Clay Director, Playwright, Actress and Teaching Artist who is contributing to the lives of young people through her Mastery in the Art of Theater Works.

Clay produced a play entitled "Standing on the Edge" that tackles this issues in a reflective and
comprehensive way that brings audiences into the fold, includes core educational learning components for ages 12 -17 and starts the conversation on social profiles such as as: The Nerd, The Bully, The Creative, The Loner, The Popular and others in the high school environment. The play is stage for audience view as well as participation. Professional Artists and Student Actors and Enthusiasts have the opportunity to sample this work in her residency program--whereas they dive into the text, make the characters their own and even workshop a new addition of the play. It is important that these voices are presented and exposed to our community to help parents, educators, mentors, leadership and legislators experience the reality of what and who our children really are about when they are in school. The transparency, dynamic and expressiveness of "Standing on the Edge" lends it self to those who would like to see real Transformation the lives of those who take part in this process beyond the stage arena.

Visit the Website for Clips and MORE!

"The teen years are tough ones and the play Standing on the Edge challenges how we view those years and the life-altering experiences that we each must go through in the name of maturing. Through spoken word, dance, and multimedia, audiences follow the journey of five characters as they experience insecurities, new-found love, tragic loss, and ultimate triumph...all in the course of four short years."
Standing on the Edge

Image may contain: Ayesis Clay, smiling, closeup
Ayesis Clay is the founder and Artistic Director of Sculpted Clay Theatre Company. Her vision for Sculpted Clay is simple: to use the transformative power of Theatre to encourage and strengthen relationships, social awareness and mental health, particularly in adolescents.

Having served as the Theatre Department Chairperson for the Center for the Visual and Performing Arts in Prince George’s County, Maryland for 14 years and being an influential member of the Prince George’s County Theatre Advisory Board, she’s personally seen the affect that access to Theatre has on teens in coping with the social and psychological challenges presented to them at this age.

After receiving her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, Ayesis’ commitment to educational theatre was only strengthened when she became a certified Arts Integration Specialist, seeking to use her passion for the arts to expose and enrich the connections between multiple disciplines in the classroom.

“When I think of the title “Teaching Artist,” I immediately think of Ayesis Clay. You see, every artist is not a teacher, and every teacher is not an artist, but Ms.Clay is a true representation of both. I have had the pleasure of working with Ayesis in both capacities for several years. Her outstanding abilities as an actress, writer, and director reflect that of an artist who continuously spends time honing her craft and refusing to settle for the norm. As a teacher, Ayesis approaches all of her students holistically and with genuine care. She can meet any student where he or she is, yet nurture him or her to meet high expectations. You can’t go wrong working with this dynamic thinker, organizer, writer, creator, teacher, and all around artist.”

—Christopher Assing, Mentor Teacher Prince Georges County Public Schools, Office of Talent and Development


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