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Music, Song, Dance, and Theater

Broadway meets Social Justice Youth Community Practice

Melvin Delgado

Publication Date - 27 November 2017

ISBN: 9780190642167

336 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches


The performing arts is one particular area of youth community practice can that can be effectively tapped to attract youth within schools and out-of-school settings, or what has been referred to as the "third area between school and family." These settings are non-stigmatizing, highly attractive community-based venues that serve youth and their respective communities. They can supplement or enhance formal education, providing a counter-narrative for youth to resist the labels placed on them by serving as a vehicle for reactivity and self-expression. Furthermore, the performing arts are a mechanism through which creative expression can transpire while concomitantly engaging youth in creative expression that is transformative at the individual and community level.

Music, Song, Dance, and Theater explores the innovative programs and interventions in youth community practice that draw on the performing arts as a way to reach and engage the target populations. The book draws from the rich literature bases in community development and positive youth development, as well as from performing arts therapy and group interventions, offering a meeting point where innovative programs have emerged. All in all, the text is an invaluable resource for graduate social work and performing arts students, practitioners, and scholars.


  • Includes case studies and extensive literature review.
  • Conceptually grounds youth performing arts within the broader constellation of youth community practice.

About the Author(s)

Melvin Delgado, PhD, Professor of Social Work & Co-Director, Center on Addictions Research and Services (CARS), Boston University School of Social Work. Dr. Delgado is currently OUP Series Editor of the Social Justice and Youth Community Practice Series. He has maintained an active research and scholarly agenda focused on urban youth practice.

Table of Contents

    Section 1: Setting the Context
    Chapter 1: An Overview
    Chapter 2: Youth Community Practice
    Chapter 3: Youth
    Chapter 4: Key Values and Ethical Challenges and Social Justice Youth Community Practice
    Chapter 5: Social Justice Youth Community Practice and Out-of-School Settings

    Section 2: Music, Song, Dance and Theater
    Chapter 6: Music
    Chapter 7: Song
    Chapter 8: Dance
    Chapter 9: Theatre

    Section 3: Case Studies and Illustrations
    Chapter 10: Music: ZUMIX, Boston
    Chapter 11: Song: The Good Life Organization, Chicago
    Chapter 12: Dance: Moving in the Spirit, Atlanta
    Chapter 13: Theatre: The Unusual Suspects, L.A.

    Section 4: Future Directions and Conclusions
    Chapter 14: Theory to Action
    Chapter 15: Future Directions
    Chapter 16: Epilogue


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