DanceEventsStar SearchTAM

Art to Survive

Every so often, I have the privilege to fly down to Puerto Rico to come along side Mabel Cuevas, their Creative Arts Director. This spring, I adjudicated their divisional Star Search, and was blown away by the passion their young artists are bringing to their craft. In the time since my last visit there has been such significant growth in skill!

“After Hurricane Maria, it was very difficult to return to the “normality” of everyday life. Many schools and parks where the children frequented were destroyed after this category 5 hurricane hit Puerto Rico. The whole Island was without power or running water. Many young people were very saddened  to know their homes and schools had been destroyed by this atmospheric phenomenon. We knew that arts and music classes were exactly what our youth needed in order to have a little “normality” in their lives. After almost two months without classes, in the middle of still being in a “state of emergency”, we decided to resume the programs again and this time we saw a more committed youth. The January-May semester is the time to prepare for Star Search and we were able to observe the great growth of the young people in this event. An example is the level B dance theme, which was dedicated to the increasing rate of suicides that have occurred on the Island after Maria. In this Star Search, we appreciated the artistic and spiritual growth of a youth that will never give up no matter the circumstances. I can say for sure that Puerto Rico will represent the Island in Territorials dancing, singing, and playing their instrument with their whole hearts.” – Mabel Cuevas

Don’t forget to continue to pray for Puerto Rico’s recovery and assist in any way you can. There is still much more healing to take place, and their youth are fighting with all their might. Young Salvationists in PR are light-bearers, and what better way to shine light, than through the arts.

Kathryn Higgins
Dance Ministries Specialist/Kroc Center Arts Liaison


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