Fostering Creativity: Overture Literary Magazine
It is a program that consists of a myriad of interactive activities and workshops regarding writing and art to foster personal growth in each student and help them reach their full potential, writes Aaroshi Sahgal.
(Above): Groups share and discuss their ideas for character development while noting the differences or similarities between group members’ thoughts. [ALL PHOTOS: OVERTURELITERARYMAGAZINE.COM]
Located in Silicon Valley, Lynbrook High School presents a high quality, technology rich and research based learning environment for its students. Having won an Intel School of Distinction award for science, there is no doubting the school’s driven focus and achievement regarding math and science.
However, with the unmitigated concentration in these areas, can room still be made for the pure beauty of creativity and artistry that is so important to preserve in today’s day and age? This is the question that inspired Roopa Shankar, a graduate of Lynbrook who is currently a freshman studying at the University of Pennsylvania, and Kimberly Tan, a senior at Lynbrook, to create a creative writing program called Overture Literary Magazine at Miller Middle School, the junior high school that feeds into the high school.
Overture Literary Magazine is led by the San Jose Youth Advisory Council of District 1 to promote literary and artistic talent. The program consists of a myriad of interactive activities and workshops regarding writing and art to foster personal growth in each student and help them reach their full potential. The workshop sessions each focus on delving deep into points such as character development, extracting the deeper meaning from imagery, and practicing constructive criticism.
(Above): A staff member shares how he believes his character would react in the given scenarios with all other Overture staff members.
These creative activities pull students out of their comfort zone, which plays a major role in their artistic growth. Every month, the students incorporate all the advice and learning received from the workshops into their own work, peer-edit their pieces, and submit their best work to be considered for publication in the magazine.
In our heavy technology-driven area, it is essential that we remember the deep importance of cultivating creativity.
Overture Literary Magazine is a powerful introduction to just that, which can be seen through the talent that vividly shines through each of their issues. This group is working hard at expanding their program so more students can recognize their artistic potential, harness the realms of their imaginations, and present their work to a larger audience.
(Above): 2012-2013 Overture coeditor-In-chief Hima Rajana, founders Roopa Shankar and Kimberly Tan, and adviser Hiroko Niksch.
(Below, right): The cover of Overture Literary Magazine's January 2012 issue
The founders have been working with the Youth Commissioner from District 2 to start developing their program into other council districts, and they are also planning on including other schools within District 1 into the program.
However, you can help with promoting this program within the community through word of mouth as well. By talking to your peers, friends, and family about the positive impacts of this creative program, you will be helping greatly with spreading the word and the expansion process as a whole.
If you have any questions, ideas, or thoughts that you would like to share with the student founders, please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information or to view the past Overture issues, please visit www.overtureliterarymagazine.com. You can spread awareness and play an important role in encouraging our youth to dream big and achieve their goals.