For Immediate Release
May 16, 2016
Douglas Turner’s Career Day Message: The Power of Imagination
New York, NY- Douglas Turner, Founder and Director of AOT Project Salon will deliver a message about the power of imagination to students at PS/IS 284 in Brooklyn for Career Day, which will be held on Friday, May 20, 2016 from 8:30am to 12:30pm.
Turner believes that if children can learn to trust their imagination it may lead to social change in underserved communities. “Brownsville is a community where 37% of those who call it home live below the Federal Poverty Level. Over one quarter of adults have not finished high school, and the incarceration rate is the second highest in all of New York City,” says Turner. In order for change to occur he states, one must first have the ability to envision goals or being a successful adult. He warns that this ability should not be minimized in low-income communities. According to Turner, our imaginations guide our actions. “In my opinion, this is an all-hands-on-deck situation, and everything must be done to instill confidence in children so that they are empowered to write the future differently,” he explains.
Presenters will give 20-minute talks in each classroom. Turner hopes to instill a passion for the arts and a love for creativity because they are crucial components in healthy development. He also aims to nurture the seed of confidence. From his perspective, confidence is the protector of imagination and what children need to face the dire statistics of their community. This will be crucial as they go through stages of adolescence and step out into the broader world outside of their community.
Turner has expanded the mission of AOT (Architecture of Tomorrow) to address this issue. AOT began as a New York-based art and cultural digest. His vision has grown to include an exhibition/performance space (AOT Project Salon) and the administration of The Equal Education Initiative in Brownsville, New York. AOT is now a nonprofit art and cultural organization dedicated to providing opportunities for artists and creating arts-based education programming for children in underserved communities. The organization attempts to fill a gap in arts programming by promoting contemporary art dialogues and positive solutions to longstanding issues of inequality. “AOT is about strengthening individuals and building community through art,” adds Turner.