South Asian Youth Action (SAYA)
Thresh partners with South Asian Youth Action (SAYA) to offer performing arts-based programming that complements SAYA's in-school and afterschool initiatives for youth in NYC migrant communities. This unique collaboration reaches the local underserved population, engaging students in social and emotional learning through the arts.
Workshop with PS230 students, 2022
"This was such a wonderful workshop that my junior high young women's leadership group enjoyed so much! They’re a very engaged group and a few of the students are dancers, so they loved the interactivity of the session and the theatrical elements to the storytelling. I love how the stories that are highlighted serve to uplift their South Asian identity and empower them as young women."
—Seema Choudhary, Young Women's Leadership Program Manager, SAYA
Established in 1996, South Asian Youth Action (SAYA) is a 501(c)3 youth development organization providing accessible, safe, and culturally affirming year-round programming to New York City students. While South Asian-focused, SAYA is inclusive and committed to connecting youth from all backgrounds to opportunities. The SAYA experience offers mentorship beyond the classroom so students confidently grow into engaged community leaders ready for college, career, and personal success.
March 2022 – Ongoing
Thresh leads a semester-long workshop series for elementary school students using the digital story performances from The Red Curtain Project to introduce discussions about culture, tradition, and art in all its forms.
Workshop with CQA students, 2022
Workshop with PS230 students, 2022
Drumming a Dream Workshop
October 12, 2021
In the Drumming a Dream workshop with SAYA, Thresh shared the process of making a multicultural theatrical work incorporating dance, music, and literature with students. Using sections of the work, instructors introduced two distinct styles of storytelling and demonstrated how the body is used to be a creative tool.
Preeti Vasudevan led an Indian dance and theater workshop using isolations, rhythms, gestures, and expressions while Max Pollak introduced Afro Cuban body rhythms and sound production through the body. Working with professional artists from different genres, students had the opportunity to gain a diverse range of skills and further dialogue on what identity and culture meant to them.
Drumming a Dream Workshop, 2021
This workshop was supported by a grant from GREEN / ARTS LIVE NYC fund, which provides microgrants and subsidized production support to ensure that New York City’s most under-resourced communities have the opportunity to benefit from free arts and culture performances in their neighborhood parks, plazas and community gardens.
"Creating and sharing stories helps many of us to relate with one another about certain topics. When we're able to share these connections with stories it helps us understand each other more and we're able to feel what it's like for other people."
—Asfia, 7th grade, SAYA Young Women's Leadership Cohort
The Red Curtain Project Workshops
April and May 2021
Thresh conducted virtual workshops with SAYA in Spring 2021 using The Red Curtain Project stories.
The organization's Young Women's Leadership Cohort of middle school students viewed The Why-Why Girl and reflected on the story's message of female empowerment. The story also stresses the importance of educating girls and the impact on society. Students learned about the artistic collaboration among Thresh and partners to bring a digital storytelling performance to fruition.
Elementary school children (ages 6–7) attended a workshop about using gestures and the body in storytelling. Students viewed Munna and the Maharaja and The Clever Antelope, followed by a discussion of the stories' key values of empathy and wit in life.