"Creating the Zone, Teen Style"

Germany 2008

*Based on compiled reports from Shana Barefoot and the TeenStreet website. OM ArtsLink - Germany

Annually, Christian teens from all over Europe join together for a week-long congress hosted by OM. The first TeenStreet, held in Offenburg, Germany in 1993, hosted about 50 people. Today, over 3,600 teenagers and volunteers attend the German TeenStreet congress each summer. Within the TeenStreet program, the "ArtZone" is an area, where the teenagers can experiment and respond creatively to what they've heard and learned about in their congress experience.

This year the art program grew to an artist service team of 12 artists from 5 different countries. These volunteers helped creatively set up the program and its space while also welcoming teenagers during the creating hours. While maintaining the creative space and making materials available, on a deeper level they were also seeking to build relationships through creating alongside the teens. Daily, the ArtZone saw more than 200 teenagers.

OM ArtsLink - Germany

For some, doing art at TS is about relaxing or a taking time to be quiet and think. "We provide the materials, time, space, and a safe environment to help the teenagers go for it," explains Andrew Garvey-Williams, overseer of the ArtZone and an artist himself.

Many visitors chose to draw and experiment. Some took advantage of techniques workshops included: sewing, sculpture, calligraphy, collage, painting and more. The artist serviceteam encouraged the teenagers to share and exhibit their artwork.

OM ArtsLink - Germany

The poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said: "Art is the gift of God, and must be used unto his glory." During Throne Room, an evening worship time at TS, Andrew and Shana Barefoot, another Artzone artist, painted on a canvas, big enough for all 3000 teens to see! Rotating the canvas while they worked together, the artists revealed an image of God’s hand reaching out to someone who was alone and in chains.

During a one-day outreach in Oldenburg, the Artzone held an exhibition of teen artwork at the Lamberti church (the main church in the town centre). It received a great response and encouraged thoughtful discussion for many of the citizens who visited. Following the exhibit, many of the teenagers donated their artwork for an auction. The money collected was donated to Teens Need Teens (TNT), to funds projects that reach out to teenagers worldwide.

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