Brownsville is a bleak New York City neighborhood where the potential lies for a group of middle school students to go beyond their textbooks and use art to learn more about themselves and connect more deeply with their history.
Middle School/Middle Passage (The Journey) is a beautiful hour-long documentary that takes a compelling look into the classrooms of the Brownsville middle school PS/IS 298, where the non-profit organization TWW, Inc. (Talks with Wolves) provides an arts literacy program to it's students. The program's enriching curriculum teaches African and Native American history through theater, visual arts and dance classes. The film shows the predominantly African-American students working with teaching artists to transform themselves into slaves through narratives, into artists creating their own symbolic masks and dolls, and into dancers exploring their inner warrior through movement. The film features candid interviews with the teachers and teaching artists that are invested in making the program work.
About TWW, Inc:
TWW Inc. focuses its mission on providing the youth in New York city communities education through the arts, culminating with the students participating in an in-school cultural performance. In the wake of disastrous budget cuts to the NYC education system, the documentary is meant to raise the public's awareness of the necessity of keeping strong and relevant cultural and arts programs in the public schools.