lectures-cross-culturalCross-Cultural Dialogue Through the Arts develops and creates collaborations between disparate communities. Conceived and directed by Judith Sloan, Cross-Cultural Dialogue Through the Arts (CCDTA) is a training and mentorship program for high school students to work under the direction of professional artists. The program offers a unique hands-on opportunity for graduate and undergraduate college students to work in teams as mentors and performance collaborators with new immigrant teenagers through a multi-media arts and theatre project in partnership with the International High School at LaGuardia Community College in Queens. Students from 50 different countries, speaking almost as many languages and dialects, populate the international high school. A sister project to Crossing the BLVD, CCDTA is currently available to all New York City area college students to participate as interns. The dialogue and writing classes culminate in EarSay’s public performances in the spring. College student interns receive training in theatre, writing, oral history, community organizing, interviewing techniques, performance and documentary art. High School students benefit from the mentorship process, developing their language and writing skills, co-creating and participating in live performances. This unique collaboration across cultures also gives immigrant teenagers exposure to the world of higher education which is often closed to them. Theatre exercises in improvisation, characterization, humor, storytelling, and conflict resolution are used to develop monologues and scenes. All participants form creative teams to produce and document the final performances and public dialogues. Participating artists have included hip hop artists and educators Caridad De La Luz, Safia Elhillo, Touré “Southpaw” Harris, filmmaker Robert Winn and students from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.