Creative Six In Schools Activity Tested and Endorsed Schoolwide

Creative expression is a staple in building an innovative, educational environment. Arts and College Preparatory Academy (ACPA) in Columbus, Ohio, provides progressive, rigorous academic instruction where students are motivated to learn and prepare for college. A hallmark of the ACPA community is allowing students the freedom of full artistic expression and movement in a safe, inclusive climate. These qualities are all factors that enhance creativity and make ACPA the perfect home for Six-Word Memoirs to thrive.

Ben Shinabery, Development Director for ACPA, describes the marriage of Six-Words and ACPA as “seamless”; the exact type of creative thinking exercises for students needed for ACPA’s students to thrive. Ben met Larry Smith by reading one of his Six-Word shirts at the Columbus Arts Festival last summer. “I thought his shirt was interesting. So we began to talk.”

(L) Ben Shinabery

From there, Ben was inspired to incorporate Six-Words into ACPA’s curriculum as an example of creative classroom activities: “Once students started hanging their Six-Word Memoir art in the hallways, momentum picked up quickly.”ACPA’s hallways are embellished with six word story art, making the transition between classes an interactive narrative window into each students’ lives. Ben’s enthusiasm for the project also grew as participation in the creative activities spread.

In honor of Six-Word Memoirs, ACPA offered a creative activity for students: create a performance based on your own Six-Word Memoir. Students were given total creative liberty and delivered stage performances that trailblazed an innovative way to explore Six-Word Memoirs.

ACPA life is swaggalious and Gucci.

With unlimited potential, this Six-Word creative activity for students in English transcended throughout the school. “German students were creating their own six word stories in German, dance and music instructors were getting their students to create a dance or a song based off of their memoir.”

On presentation day, each performance opened with the student’s Six-Word Memoir, and was followed by an artistic manifestation of that student’s backstory. Performances ranged from spoken-word poetry to dance and acoustic indie-rock. Two students, Shania and Kendall, created an improv skit in only six words.

The breadth of talent at ACPA was displayed throughout the evening. Students delivered powerful performances that spoke of heartache, passion, a need for acceptance, happiness—their honest stories exhibited the supportive relationships between the students and staff.

(R) Chloe, ACAP Sophomore

Chloe, a sophomore, played acoustic guitar and performed a song she wrote specifically for the occasion to showcase her Six-Word Memoir: “When I can’t speak, I sing.” Chloe explains that Six-Words exemplifies the quality of learning and teaching at ACPA: “You only have six words to make a statement and the artistic level of the memoirs proves how wonderful of a school ACPA really is.”

The night concluded the way most Six-Word Memoir events end, with a Six-Words Slam. Students were thrilled to have another shot at delivering their memoirs for an audience. Six-Words is excited to play a role in the ACPA educational experience, leaving not only a presence in their hallways, but also touching the creative souls of their students.