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  • The Outer Loop

Empathy Project allows local students and teachers means of self-expression


by: Sarah Darmanjian Posted: Jan 29, 2021 / 02:20 PM EST / Updated: Jan 29, 2021 / 02:20 PM EST

NISKAYUNA, N.Y. (NEWS10)- The creation of art can offer individuals a therapeutic way to express their world views. It can also offer a way to talk about serious or complicated topics and help build a better understanding of the shared human experience. It’s why The Outer Loop Theater reached out to collaborate with the Brown School for The Empathy Project, an online event produced over three weeks that presents unique stories. It’s been empowering and given a voice to Owen Morley and Kabir Pabla, they said. The Brown School juniors worked together on the poster for the event on January 31. The poster’s artwork and the program’s title, Connection Through Chaos, was inspired by the Black Lives Movement and the attack on the U.S. Capitol, Pabla said.

Born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Morley’s piece in the Empathy Project looks at how his experiences as an adopted child differed from what would be considered a normal childhood. On self-expression, he said, “It’s one of the best opportunities in life and I feel it’s important for us higher schoolers to really do that.” “It really did empower them and show them that you do have a voice. And what you have to say absolutely matters,” said Director of the Upper School, Teresa Burke. Burke put together a piece detailing her struggles with fostering and adopting a child. “Even as an adult, it was a great exercise for me to be able to bring (a) voice to a topic that a lot of people know nothing about.”

“We hope by bringing together voices, stories, and experiences from all walks of life and artists from all mediums, both participants and audience alike will engage in the greater conversation of what it means to be human … right now. And that together, we might discover while our experiences or views of these crises differ, that our feelings of fear, joy, disappointment, hope, anger, and love are all the same,” The Outer Loop Theater said. Tickets for The Empathy Project: Connection Through Chaos on January 31 at 5 p.m. can be purchased through Eventbrite. The program will be between 60-90 minutes long. Suggested ticket donation is $10 but is a “donate what you can” event. All proceeds will go toward the Schenectady Community Action Program.

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