May 20, 2015
Local “Catch the Fire” Workshop Drawing International Attendance this Summer
Whidbey Island will become a hub for those looking to increase their impact through enhanced creativity, as Seattle-based nonprofit Partners for Youth Empowerment (PYE Global) holds its annual Catch the Fire Training from June 29 to July 3.
“We believe everyone is creative,” explains PYE CEO and co-founder Charlie Murphy. “This intensive five-day experience shows people how to access their own creativity while giving them the skills to help others do the same.” An internationally acclaimed facilitator and presenter, Murphy is known for pioneering the use of the arts to add depth and effectiveness to organizations and educational programs around the globe.
PYE co-founder and Director of Training, Peggy Taylor, is a writer, musician and creative development specialist who has trained thousands to enrich their work with arts-inspired practices. Taylor, who has a Masters of Education in Creative Arts in Learning, is especially excited to welcome teachers and social entrepreneurs to Catch the Fire. “We love seeing how teachers put the training into practice by weaving the arts into academics,” she says. “And as a long-time social entrepreneur I know how important these skills are for making an impact.”
Teachers can earn clock hours. “They walk away with their own creativity fired up, and the tools to get students more engaged and excited about learning,” explains Taylor.
Catch the Fire participants come from several continents to train directly with Murphy and Taylor, both Whidbey Island residents. So far, registrants are slated to come from Ghana, Mexico, Turkey, England, Canada and the United States, spanning the fields of philanthropy, business, facilitation, teaching and youth work. The diverse training emphasizes enhanced group dynamics. Goals include developing creative confidence and learning ways to build bridges across lines of cultural, socio-economic and generational divides.
Chris Jordan, a past Catch the Fire participant and world-renowned photographic artist, says, “I wish everyone I know could experience PYE’s process. It carries a profound healing power that is so needed in our world right now.” Jordan’s popular and provocative series, “Running the Numbers,” explores the daunting scale of consumerism.
Catch the Fire trainee and current Youth Leadership Manager for OneWorld Now! in Seattle, Alekzandr Wray, remembers how the training helped him take new and bolder creative risks. “You don’t have to be an artist to be creative,” he explains. “When you are willing to put yourself out there, you give others the freedom to do it, too.”
Wray says he relished the chance to work with PYE’s founders. “Peggy and Charlie set up the framework to help you build confidence. They’re some of the best around.” He’s attended several PYE trainings and reports ongoing use of the skills gained.
There are still some openings in the Catch the Fire Training, and some scholarship money is available. Those interested in registering or learning more about PYE’s upcoming Catch the Fire Training can visit pyeglobal.org.
About Partners for Youth Empowerment (PYE Global)
Around the world, PYE trains youth workers, mentors, educators, artists and others to weave the arts into their work. The aim is to create rich, transformative learning experiences that unlock potential and leadership in young people, thereby building stronger, more connected communities. In 2014, PYE and partners trained over 3,000 practitioners in eight countries. As a result, over 140,000 young people were inspired to become collaborative leaders and proactive contributors to thriving communities. Each summer, PYE also runs the PYE/Power of Hope camp on Whidbey Island, a renowned camp for teens. Learn more at pyeglobal.org.