As a Montréal artist in the Québec government's program, 'Culture in the Schools,' Norman teaches kids (kindergarten to senior high school) how to use pens, pencils, imaginations and their own natural talents for writing, acting, making music, and performing.
"Thanks for coming Norman. I've heard glowing reports from everyone and we're happy you could visit us."
- Bill Duncan, Vice Principal, Sherbrooke Elementary School, Sherbrooke
"You have a real talent for working with the individual strengths in each class. You are able to harness energy and transform it in a positive way to promote creativity and artistic production. This was especially the case with a few "problem" students in the grade six class. You really worked to include them, and the result was excellent.
Your ability to manage classes, despite not knowing the students, is remarkable."
- Jennifer Hayden-Benn, Verdun Elementary School, Montreal
"Mr. Nawrocki’s active and interactive approach, including drama and humor, proved to be the hook that had the students writing enthusiastically and at the same time, laughing, smiling and enjoying every word that fell from their pencils onto the page. When asked to read their prose, there was no need to ask for volunteers as almost all of the students stretched out their hands. One student stated, “I was amazed by Mr. Nawrocki’s presentation and enjoyed his personal evolution as a writer very much”. Another wrote, “The presentation was quite insightful and entertaining. I wish he could have stayed longer.”
- Irving (Lee) Rother, Lake of Two Mountains High School, Deux Montagnes
"I really enjoyed your workshop. You are very energetic and the students respond well to that. "
- Francine Veillette Plante, English as a second language teacher, Val-d'Or, Québec
"In two hours Norman took classes with limited (if any) experience with clowns, and enabled them to create a show. What was accomplished in that short time was amazing. His gentle manner, and encouragement gave the students confidence. A pleasure to work with."
- Janet Lamarre, Edgewater Elementary School, Pincourt, Québec
Norman at Riverview Elementary School in Verdun
From 'The Association of Teachers of English of Quebec' newsletter:
"Norman Nawrocki gave students a glimpse into the type of writing and musical work he does. He challenged students to think outside the box, look into their own experiences for writing material, experiment with the written word and explore other forms of expression, such as music and oral readings to music. His eclectic repertoire and dynamic presentation inspired students.
Though some were shy at first, they easily ventured to write their own stories, and in a matter of minutes each student had the beginnings of a narrative, complete with conflict and suspense.
It was impressive to note that students who are reticent writers during the year, eagerly embraced the process when Norman helped them find their voice and of course, confidence. In discussion, the students discovered that, rather than the writer commanding the events, sometimes stories take on a life of their own and the characters write themselves.
Knowing that they were only the vehicles for their stories was all the motivation some students needed to keep writing. As one youngster exclaimed under breath, "Whew, I'm not making the story up; it has a life of its own". As teachers we hope to read an all-Canadian masterpiece. Yet, the real tour de force occurs when an unmotivated student finds his voice."
- Mary Eva, Heritage Regional High School, St-Hubert, Québec
Author, Actor, Musician, Comedian, Poet, Educator, Motivater. A hit with Quebec students & teachers.
Norman Nawrocki already offers two workshops about creative writing and performing in the online ‘Répertoire de ressouces culture-éducation’ (from the Ministère de l’Education, du Loisir et du Sport, Quebec). But he can also offer more and is open to ideas - in Quebec and elsewhere:
- Books, newsletters, school papers — how to organize, write & publish
- Spoken Word — put words to music & beats
- Creative non-fiction — explore all genres
- Theatre — writing, acting, staging & improv skills
- Imagination — how to channel it
- Poetry — have fun writing & sharing
- Social issues — use the arts to engage
- Comedy — create & perform sketches
- Story telling — the elements
- Clowning — simple fundamentals, solo & group
Experienced. Energizing. Multi-disciplinary. Inspiring.
- Norman is an experienced multi-disciplinary artist who entertains while he teaches, coaches and inspires students to express themselves intelligently.
- He helps simplify and demystify ‘creativity’ and shows students how to turn ideas, experiences and personal observations into thoughtful words on paper or other forms of artistic self-expression.
- He makes the creative process fun and exciting and helps students build skills and confidence to realize their own potential.
Norman Nawrocki is an internationally renowned artist who has authored several books of poetry and short fiction (in English, French & Italian) and is included in numerous anthologies. He has written plays for CBC Radio and released 50 albums of spoken word and music. Since 1985, he has performed his spoken word, music and theatre to rave reviews on stages, radio and TV across North America, Europe and in China. He teaches part-time at Concordia University about how to use the arts to engage the public. He has worked in Quebec's ‘Culture in Schools Program’ for several years and loves it.
AVAILABLE FOR ALL LEVELS IN ALL REGIONS OF QUEBEC (open to out-of-province visits, too)
Now booking Fall & Spring public school visits. Contact Norman here.
NAWROCKI DOES SCHOOLS, ELEMENTARY AND UP
English poetry: "SHE PUTS ON HER HEADPHONES" A collective poem written in collaboration with the students of Cavelier-de-LaSalle high school, in the Marguerite-Bourgeoys school district of Montreal
"The invitation to participate in La semaine québecoise des arts (The Quebec Week of Arts) was a unique opportunity to encourage my students to create a poem they could share with the rest of the province. Mr. Nawrocki, a distinguished guest who has extensive experience as an Artist at school, brought excitement to a regular class and at the same time helped these students to open up and create something they would be proud of.
"Although providing them with the opportunity to experience an authentic writing situation was my main goal, it was also important for them to use the different parts of the writing process, to work in cooperation with others and to go public with their writing. Many students mentioned that they enjoyed the project, because they learned that all their peers had something to share, and they loved working together. They actually remember some of the difficulties that they surpassed because of their individual efforts. They took their responsibility seriously with regard to the end product. They were actually surprised that they could produce such an interesting poem, even though it's not their mother tongue. They are all proud of “She Puts on Her Headphones,” and are looking forward to seeing the video.
- Fiorina Sammartino, teacher, Cavelier-de-LaSalle high school
Norman Nawrocki – The Spoken Word workshop
The Association of Teachers of English of Quebec offers subsidies to help sponsor such projects as workshops and author visits. Thank you ATEQ. M. Eva
A couple of years ago I was fortunate to spot Norman Nawrocki’s name on the MELS Culture in Schools program. I was looking for an entertaining way to enlist student’s appreciation of poetry and all the while have them see the importance of the spoken word through music. Norman offered such a workshop. I had had the pleasure of working with Norman in 2006 when he gave a short story writing workshop to my students. It was a success as evidenced through their descriptive writings. I also attended a spoken word evening where Norman used music – he plays a mean violin – a drum machine, and put his stories to music. This eclectic use of literature interested me and I asked my secondary 4 and 5 students whether they would like to have such a workshop. No coaxing was necessary – I have yet to hear a young person reject music or a chance to do something different. The workshop aptly took place in April, during Poetry Month.
Since Norman is an accomplished musician and spoken word performer, he was able to offer students a glimpse into the many uses of music, other than the listening phase – which in some cases may be passive. In preparation for Norman’s visit, students chose poems that “spoke to them”, or as many did composed original ones. Our school participated in the Poem In Your Pocket day and so students spent time creating or searching for favourite lines to share with others. They were also encouraged to bring in selections of favourite music – preferably instrumental, or even bring in their instruments.
Norman introduced the concept of spoken word in performance art, and demonstrated various techniques for performing their pieces with appropriate melodies. After the initial stops and giggles, students learned how to set their writing to beats and music, and how to read and perform that writing – either as solo acts or duets. With Norman’s feedback and coaching, everyone took turns sharing their performance work. Some relevant themes of concern to students ranged from concerns about bullying, racism, poverty, environmental issues, and relationships. From the romantic and idyllic to the passionate and funny, from lyric to narrative and rap, the poems entertained. However, more importantly, students had an opportunity to see that the written lines can be as vibrant as music and its message can be powerfully delivered.
A high energy, hands-on, practical workshop that shows you how to use theatre, music, song, comedy, poetry, film and other arts practices to address serious critical issues and work for social justice with Norman Nawrocki, acclaimed Montreal cabaret artist, author, activist and educator.
Learn how creative arts practices can help reboot your own imagination, inspire, inform and empower yourself and others for meaningful social change.
Discover how the arts can help mobilize, organize, and spread the word about current issues and concerns. Learn new skill sets to help articulate an alternative vision, critique or protest that will grab people's attention and reach a broader public.
Understand the basic principles and practices of 'creative resistance' as a new way of thinking to help imagine, strategize and mount more effective, visible campaigns and affirmative actions. This exciting and empowering workshop will help any activist or group engage people in ways you never tried before, and allow you to have fun, too!
LEARN HOW TO:
- develop your own creative skills
- communicate ideas more effectively
- gain better media exposure
- reclaim your own culture and voice
- inject new life into your politics
- articulate radical visions
- invite others to get involved
- liven up actions and campaign
- tap the power of collective creativity
Norman takes local issues chosen by workshop sponsors to use as examples. He shows how to apply the techniques and tools of creative resistance to help refresh and re-focus an analysis of the problems and imagine possible solutions, new approaches. Participants leave the workshop energized, with innovative, concrete ideas ready to incorporate in any campaign.
Norman is an internationally recognized subversive actor, clown and cabaret artist who uses his talents to tackle important social issues. His multi-disciplinary work has been seen on the stage and TV across North America and abroad.
As an accomplished musician, his music is aired on radio worldwide. He has 25 years experience as a performer, and 30 years as a community activist. He is recognized as one of Canada's foremost practitioners of creative resistance, and is invited to present his work at universities and colleges across North America, in English and French. He works with low income tenants, anti-poverty and civil liberties groups, elementary and high school teachers, trade unionists, social justice groups, etc.
He gives workshops around the world and teaches a graduate-level course based on his work at Concordia University.
His long-standing career is marked by creations that address questions of sexual politics (homophobia, sexism, violence against women) and social justice. He has released over 50 albums, solo and with his bands, and written several books and theatre musicals. His work is hailed by educators, health professionals, activists and the media.
Norman with some of Calgary's 'Disability Action Hall' crew, who participated in his Creative Resistance workshop at The Arusha Centre 'to make the disabled visible.'
THIS WORKSHOP REQUIRES:
- a room large enough for 30 noisy people;
- a three-hour block of time.
Participants are encouraged to bring musical instruments, costumes and their imaginations.
- a facilitator fee;
- economy class transportation to and from the venue (from Montreal) and all ground transportation;
- overnight accommodation and meals
Please note: this workshop works best with no more than 30 people.
More Arts Workshops to choose from!
NORMAN NAWROCKI offers a series of other useful, skill-building workshops for community groups, student organizations, trade unions and rabblerousers. Choose one. Gather your posse. Book a workshop!
Other workshops for social justice include:
- Rebel Words 101 - how to compose and use the written, spoken and performed word
- Rebel Rhythms 101 - how to create and use music, sounds, beats
- Radical Community Cabaret 101 - how to produce one
- Humour for the Humourless Radical 101 - where to find it; how to use it
- The Art of Anarchism 101 - an introduction to the philosophy and practice of anarchist visual arts from yesterday to today