Comedians, actors bring improv to Detroit schools

DETROIT (WXYZ) - When you want to help the city of Detroit grow, sometimes you just have to wing it.

At least that's what the folks behind the Detroit Creativity Project believe. The group is all about improvisation also known as improv. In theatre, it's the art of acting off the cuff or making it up as you go.

This team of comedians and actors, mostly alumni of Second City Detroit, is bringing improv to Detroit area schools. Their mission: teach students how to get along with others, work together, respect others and take risks even if it results in failure.

These are all of the lessons, the group says, improv can teach.

"The Detroit Creativity Project will be injecting confidence into all these kids to make them know that they can rise above what the status quo thinks they can do," said DCP member Joshua Funk of Second City Hollywood.

Most of the 12 team members live and work in Hollywood, but are eager to give back to Detroit, because of ties they all have with the city.  The Detroit Creativity Project works in collaboration with Y-Arts Detroit to administer the program free of charge in Detroit schools.  The DCP pays improv teachers to give students the creative instruction that most of their schools have lost with budget cuts.

 So far, the DCP has held pilot programs at Cass Tech, Western International High School and ACE Academy in Highland Park. The weekly sessions run roughly for eight to ten weeks.

"It went really very well. Improv is truly magical, and the students--as well as the teachers and administrators--raved about the experience," said Marc Evan Jackson, co-founder of DCP. "It is such an unbelievable valuable communication and life tool."

Teachers or administrators of schools interested in the program are encouraged to contact Margaret Edwartowski of the YMCA of Metro Detroit at medwartowski@ymcadetroit.org  or 313.223.2743.

"Detroit is filled with so much artistic talent, and so many good people—and it's just, people have to give us a chance," said one of the students featured in the video above.

Follow the group on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Detroit-Creativity-Project/219516294804892 or on Twitter @_D_C_P_

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