The Mammalian Succession Model of Youth Labour Engagement (SMYLE) is an approach to working with young people that considers them the successors to the those leading the activities. Created over the course of ten years in collaboration with a team of children who then became teens, and then adults. It is specifically designed to include populations of young people whose families tend not to bother with arts and culture. It’s the ultimate in inclusivity methods and is based on the idea that full inclusivity of children is the most radical gesture possible.

Darren O’Donnell (Artistic & Research Director of theatre and performance company Mammalian Diving Reflex, whose Haircuts by Children was presented by PICA for TBA:07) is presently engaged in a research and development residency program with PICA, supported by a generous grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Building Demand for the Arts initiative. Over the course of 2016, Darren will work with PICA to explore innovative strategies and methods for expanding, deepening, and activating youth participation and engagement in contemporary and experimental art and performance through an equity lens. During his residency, Darren will share his extensive experience in socially engaged art, performance, and urban planning, as well as his revolutionary models for collaborating with young people from diverse backgrounds in creative, curatorial, and producing capacities. Three Portland site visits will help connect Darren to Portland’s local communities, youth programs, and some of our most pressing political, social, and civic issues.

This event is co-presented by PICA and PSU’s MFA in Art and Social Practice for Assembly, a co-authored social practice symposium that takes place in Portland, Oregon from May 12–15, 2016. All Assembly events are free and open to everyone.