M. Derek Gideon, 2012, Comparative Literature

My project in Kenya was twofold: to produce an assessment report for the ­theatre-against-AIDS organization REPACTED in Nakuru, Rift Valley Province, and to ­facilitate the creation of new theatre-against-AIDS troupes in the rural area around ­Isebania Town, Southern Nyanza Province. In Nakuru, I conducted a follow-up to the survey I had implemented the previous year. I then used that data to produce a ­report examining the organization’s impact in the community and outlining ­opportunities for future outreaches. In Isebania, I helped two new theatre-against-AIDS troupes to ­assess their performances and produce their first organization profiles and grant ­proposals. From this experience, I gained valuable insight into the process of creating a sustainable community organization as well as into the ways in which the arts can play a crucial role in solving community problems. The latter insight will be central to my independent work and future graduate study in oral poetry.