At Slam Out Loud, a non-profit organization founded in 2017, we work to transform how arts education and socio-emotional learning (SEL) happen in India for marginalized children. We do this through the art forms of poetry, storytelling, theatre, and visual arts to help children from under-resourced communities find their voice through creative expression.
We work with teachers and professional artists and create contextual curriculum resources, integrated with social justice issues of climate action and gender justice. This is to enable children to build Creative Confidence skills (curiosity, imagination, analytical thinking, team work, participation, emotional awareness) needed for them to achieve greater life outcomes.
Suraj, a 15-year-old at Slam Out Loud, is a recognized artist and TEDx Speaker.
Apart from performing to a cumulative audience of more than 15,000 across nationwide platforms, he has had the skills to negotiate change, use creative expression to dream bigger and create his future.
Suraj’s background brings us face to face with the questions of power and privilege. However, his story isn’t that of disempowerment, but hope, of finding his own voice.
Slam Out Loud is a for-mission, non-profit that uses the transformative power of performance and visual arts to help build Creative Confidence (life) skills like communication, critical thinking and empathy in children from disadvantaged communities.
How does Slam Out Loud define Creative Confidence?
A combination of six 21st century and Socio Emotional Learning skills including Creativity, Communication, Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Self-Esteem and Empathy.
The Jijivisha Fellowship
This is our high-touch programme which places artists and educators into classrooms for a year-long fellowship cycle to help build Creative Confidence (4 specific SEL skills) in students from underserved communities. The year-long fellowship cycle ends with platforming opportunities (open mics, community events, performances, exhibitions), designed to enable students to showcase their creativity and learnings.
So far, we have brought The Jijivisha Fellowship to more than 10,500+ children, and 100+ artists, working across Delhi NCR and Pune. 75% of the students have grown at least 1 level on SOL’s Creative Confidence scale.
Post-pandemic, we are implementing the fellowship in Delhi and Pune, impacting 3,000 children, 54 fellows and 9 partners. In 2023-24 we are expanding the fellowship to Mumbai and Bengaluru as well, with the potential to impact 4,000 students across 4 cities.
Arts for All
This is our at-scale programme in partnership with state governments and NGOs, which involves teacher and facilitator training to implement our arts-based SEL curriculum. During the pandemic, our resources reached 4.7M children in 19 countries; sampled children showed growth in communication (13.2%), critical thinking (8%), and self-esteem (5.6%).
The Arts For All program aims to inculcate 6 life skills in children and to build awareness of gender inequality and climate change through art.
The arts-based SEL teacher-training programme involves training government school teachers to implement the curriculum built by us. This programme utilises the weekly art classes in government schools to bring arts-based socio-emotional learning with gender and climate-action elements to the classrooms.
In September 2022, we piloted this programme under Project Avaza in partnership with the Government of Punjab. We trained 100 government school teachers and reached 3,000 children.
In 2023, we launched a pilot programme in Maharashtra (districts of Bhiwandi and Chandrapur) by training 80 teachers with the aim of impacting more than 2,000 children.
Meri Awaaz aims to build greater awareness of prevalent gender stereotypes by working with facilitators to engage adolescents to reflect on their biases. In collaboration with Girl Rising, Slam Out Loud has developed 15+ hours of arts-based activities that promote social and emotional well-being and raise awareness of gender inequality.
We provide training, lesson plans, and a facilitator guide to facilitators at our partner organisations to enable them to conduct 8 hour-long sessions over a period of 4 months with children aged 10 to 17.
Through Meri Awaaz, we have impacted 51,255 children by working with 11 implementation partners across 7 Indian states.
Socio-Emotional Learning (SEL)
Classrooms are often devoid of joy due to a singular focus on exams and grades. Encouraging students to access their imagination is important. Art serves as a medium to fill classrooms with joy and abundance. At Slam Out Loud, we develop a curriculum with the intent of bringing artistic learning to classrooms to build Creative Confidence, which is a combination of socio-emotional learning (SEL) and 21st-century skills.
We partner with schools, local institutions, and organizations that believe in the power of SEL and arts for students to develop agency and voice. We undertake a four-step process in creating a curriculum that takes individuals through mindfulness practice, reflective exercises, art activities, and spaces for sharing, to build and practice Creative Confidence and use art for self-expression.
Our curriculum leverages technology to build SEL skills through various audio and video resources. These are open source and can even be sent as bite-sized activities on low-tech platforms like WhatsApp. The resources are also made accessible: they are contextual, address current challenges, require few materials, and can be done easily at home.
Resource: A sample lesson called self-portrait helps children describe themselves through art.
In collaboration with UK-based organization World’s Largest Lesson, who shared their expertise in creating climate action resources for children, Slam Out Loud created 17 hours of climate action curricula and resources through two packs: Gen eARTh – Creative Climate Action for Young Learners and Artivism For Nature.
Gen eARTh is a self-paced, self-directed 16-hour course for learners aged 8 to 14 that invites them to explore climate action and sustainability and take informed steps toward a sustainable future.
Since the launch of our GeneARTh program in June 2021, we have reached 53,880 people across our digital channels. The content received 3,102 points of engagement across these channels (likes, comments, shares).
Artivism For Nature is a one-hour self-paced lesson plan for young learners aged 8 to 14 created in collaboration with World’s Largest Lesson and UNICEF to inspire learners to be nature-positive and advocate for social change through artivism.
Our existing gender curriculum was created in collaboration with Girl Rising for our program Meri Awaaz, which strives to build greater awareness of prevalent gender stereotypes. We have developed 15+ hours of arts-based activities that promote social-emotional well-being and raise awareness of gender inequality.
We have developed 8 audio capsules which sum up to 15 hours of arts-based activities, each containing real-life stories of girls from across the world pertaining to education, gender-based violence, early and forced child marriage, early pregnancies, and menstrual health and hygiene.
Sample activities can be found in SOL’s and Girl Rising’s Arts For All: Gender Equity Through Art booklet.