MCC Nano-Interview with Tony Jones
Enchanted Circle Teaching Artist Tony Jones was recently invited to participate in a Nano-Interview for the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Creative Youth Development Blog, Seen & Heard.
What do you do at Enchanted Circle Theater?
As a Teaching and Performing Artist, I work in the classroom, in communities, and anywhere learning happens using the arts as a tool to teach, to empower, and to bring about change!
Why do you do what you do?
I wouldn’t know what else to do. I have spent my entire career as an actor and educator. It is my heartbeat.
What comes easiest to you in this work?
Connecting with people whose voices get silenced comes naturally to me. I know what it’s like to feel unheard and unseen. My objective is to make everyone’s voice count.
What challenges you in this work?
I wish there were more time in the day.
What does it mean to your community that you do this work?
My community becomes an example of how education and the arts are stepping stones for further advancement. Working with disadvantaged youth and being an example of what could be if you work hard and work for change is the example I am always trying to set. I want every community to have a voice.
How do you blow off steam?
I read. I cook. I eat. I listen. I learn.
What do you create in your free time?
I write a lot of poetry. I create spoken-word. I create a peaceful atmosphere around me.
Whose work in the CYD field do you admire and why?
I admire everyone’s work in this field. It all matters.
What music do you like listen to (if even a little too loudly)?
Erykah Badu, Whitney Houston, Black Star, Conscious Hip-Hop
Do you live with any animals?
I want a dog so bad, but I am never home long enough to take care of one.
Seen any good movies lately?
Get Out was excellent!
What are you currently reading?
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Maria Kondo
The unauthorized biography of your life is titled:
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Click here to see the post on the MCC Seen & Heard blog.
About Seen & Heard
Creative youth development programs are a dynamic part of the arts education ecosystem that link creative experiences in the arts, sciences, and humanities to youth development. Through these programs, both in- and out-of-school, young people develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration skills. These programs stimulate imagination and creativity, celebrate individuality and self-worth, encourage a sense of purpose, and foster deeper civic engagement.
For 20 years, the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s YouthReach Initiative has invested in creative youth development programs that nurture the spirit of creative inquiry in young people otherwise pushed to the margins.
Through Seen & Heard the MCC aims to illuminate the voices and visions of these young people, and to encourage and provoke the dedicated creative youth development practitioners who shape and deliver these vital programs across our state and across the nation.
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“I am so glad you all exist. You are a wonderful resource for Holyoke students.”
~ 5th Grade ELA and Reading Intervention Specialist