NEW HAVEN – Students from all over the region will share their hopes, dreams, and desires through stunning spoken word performance in Long Wharf Theatre’s annual Moments and Minutes Festival, taking place Friday, May 19 on Stage II.

The gallery showcasing students’ visual art will open at 6:30 pm. The spoken work performance will take place at 7 pm. 

Long Wharf Theatre’s annual Moments & Minutes Festival is an exhilarating evening of original performance and visual art pieces created by students from all over Connecticut. This year LWT Education staff asked young artists, “What do you wish for?” and challenged them to search through their own experiences and dreams to respond to this question. “We believe in providing a brave space for young people to share their stories and to inspire our community to practice creativity, empathy, and teamwork through the arts,” said Madelyn Ardito, Long Wharf Theatre’s director of education. 

Back in September, we were all thinking about the election and what the future would look like. So, we thought we would ask the students of Connecticut about their wishes for the future,” said Eliza Orleans, education programs manager.

Students submitted a range of performance pieces and artwork that wished for everything from the ability to fly, to equal rights and visibility, to ending violence and injustice around the world. “We were looking for an original point of view and stories that have not been put on stage before. We were also looking for performers who were emotionally and physically connected to what they were saying,” Orleans said.

The work shows a depth of feeling and complexity of language. Caleb Rutherford of New Haven Academy wishes for a world where his skin color wasn’t an issue. 

I hope one day someone sees me for something noble, 
not like they saw my brother in 
Barnes and Noble. 
Looks like he put something 
into his pocket. 
They lied. 

April Lichtman of Regional Center for the Arts writes of a quiet moment of love:

I’m sitting in his truck,
And the whole world melts away.
There are no more people,
No more thoughts,
No more words.
Say goodbye to facts,
Forget about opinions,
No more nothing.
I’m sitting in his truck,
He’s holding my hand … 

Rutherford and Lichtman’s writings are two examples of the depth of feeling displayed all throughout the students’ work. “Moments and Minutes is their opportunity to articulate what they want for themselves and for their world,” Orleans said.

The schools participating in the event are Betsy Ross Arts Magnet School (New Haven), Cook Hill Elementary School (Wallingford), Davis Street School (New Haven), Edgewood School (New Haven), Hamden High School (Hamden), Joel Barlow High School (Easton), Metropolitan Business Academy (New Haven), New Haven Academy (New Haven), New Horizons (New Haven), Our Lady of Mercy School (Madison), and Hillcrest Middle School (Trumbull).

For more information or to reserve tickets, visit longwharf.org or call 203-787-4282.