Photo courtesy of Iconoclast Artists
Iconoclast Artists

Iconoclast Artists is both a bilingual art and a Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) program that is disrupting the "school to prison pipeline" in Houston's most vulnerable schools. They are dedicated to the intellectual, relational, spiritual, and emotional flourishing of students that are living in high poverty areas with depleted resources.

The program consists of 1) both an in-school and after-school dimension, 2) a Social and Emotional Development for students, 3) Social and Emotional Learning training for teachers and administrators, 4) community performances and community writing workshops, and 5) a scholarship fund to fuel the students' dreams.

Volunteers have assisted in a multitude of responsibilities in the following categories:

  • Sessions: assisting in set-up/clean-up, registration, greeting, sales, and refreshments
  • Writing program and Social Emotional Learning: volunteers are present in the class during events including special performances, presentations, and celebrations
  • Anthology publication: aiding in proofreading, compilation of acknowledgement section, formatting, and delivering of books
  • Book release Event: an end of year event hosted at the Museum of Fine Arts. It entails a pre-event poet reception, performance/main event, and post-event reception. Members of the board play a strong role in project management and securing vendors and donations for invitations, decorations, parking, food, venue, audio/visual, and music. Volunteers are organized throughout this season and are essential to its success.
  • Marketing and publicity: focusing on all Iconoclast Artists program and events including recruitment and management of volunteer staff, content creation and design of all online advertising through news, arts and event sites, the distribution of flyers, PR communications with all local media and organizations, social media, videography, and graphic design.

Performance Sessions pair an academic poet with an urban poet throughout the school year. In these sessions, Iconoclast merchandise is sold along with Volumes 1, 2, 3, and 4 of They Say< em>, the student poetry books that have been created since 2016. and we seek contributions from those in attendance.

An anthology of poetry produced by the student writers, They Say Volume 1 was published in 2016. Volumes 2 and 3 were celebrated and released in 2017 and 2018. They Say Volume 4 and Ellos Dicen Volume 1, the first Spanish anthology, were celebrated and released in May 2019, with proceeds going toward a scholarship fund for Iconoclast students.