Join Activate (Be)longing

Activate (Be)longing NEW HAVEN
A choral/hip-hop theatre work about coming of age in an age of guns, (Be)longing is coming to New Haven in 2017 as part of the Festival. Created by Byron Au Yong and Aaron Jafferis at the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech, (Be)longing has grown into a national initiative asking how we recover from violence and prevent its recurrence. Activate (Be)longing is a series of events leading up to the Festival and during the performances of (Be)longing intended to expand the conversation and experience beyond the performance.

We need you! The success of Activate (Be)longing depends on the collaborative efforts of our community.

Activate (Be)longing invites local individuals like you and community organizations to create artistic and participatory responses to the show’s central questions. These responses will be shared at 1. independent events throughout the Spring, or as a 2. part of Act II in show’s June performances.

Through Activate (Be)longing we hope to Connect individuals and groups who share a passion for keeping young people alive.

< Back to (Be)longing | See the Activate (Be)longing Activities >

Get Involved!

1. Activate (Be)longing Independent Event

Create your own collaborative event to take place between January 1, 2017 and June 15, 2017

Step One: Find a collaborator!

  • Your event must involve two or more groups or individuals collaborating for the first time or in a new way.
  • The partnership can be a co-created event OR it can be separate public events that make explicit links between the events with a shared location and time.
  • Examples of collaborators could be community counseling centers and practitioners, peace and non-violence organizations, arts organizations and more!

Step Two: Respond to this prompt!
Choose a word, phrase, or question from the Question (Be)longing page and imagine an action, event, or artistic response. Responses can include meditation, art, food, storytelling, education, activism, or anything else you can imagine.

2. (Be)longing Act II Activity

In Act II of (Be)longing performances, audience members come together with choir and community members in small groups to respond to the show through creative expression, conversation, etc. These activities must be participatory, able to happen easily at the theatre, and doable in 20 minutes.

We imagine 5 types of activities:

  • Contemplation: meditation, reading, music-listening, art gallery, etc.
  • Creation: visual art, music, writing, theatre, dance, hip-hop, etc.
  • Conversation: storytelling, dialogue, counseling, etc.
  • Rejuvenation: food, drink, naps, yoga, ecstatic dance, etc.
  • Mobilization: local and national activist and advocacy movements, etc.

For more information contact Sarah Sherban, Louise Endel Community Engagement Manager, at


Photo Credit: Brennen Smith

Video Credit: Travis Carbonella