CrossRoads Panorama (CRP) is a community-based youth arts program that helps youth; ages 5 on up, break free of challenging behaviors. Operating in the heart of Minneapolis and the Metro Area, it combines creative dramatization techniques to empower youth with tools to explore and understand real life issues. CRP’s successful use of drama as an interactive learning experience gives youth a viable way to visualize problems and make positive choices.
Dr. Joyce Marrie
Founder & CEO
Like many children growing up, Joyce’s favorite activity as a child was to participate in acting out plays for family and friends. By mid-teens her interest deepened and involved all aspects of putting together a performance to be shared. She began to write stories to herself that could replace the need for borrowed library scripts. When organizing plays, she usually found herself in the role of Director. When fourteen years old, Joyce organized a play held in her mother’s garage. The script was from the library. Tickets sold for five cents each. A young girl in a wheelchair whose sister had pushed her there was the first ticket holder to appear. Something about that memory inspired Joyce to make a connection between drama and healing that expanded her thinking of possibilities. Today she is a Certified Drama Therapist with a doctorate in Creative Drama Art Therapy.
Her journey of work involving drama spans thirty+ years. Early performance sites of various plays included The Capri Theatre in north Minneapolis, Christ Church International, Hamline University, North Central University. Pillsbury House and The Landmark Center in St Paul. Organization title at that time was “Actors for Christ.” Her later desire to expand youth outreach in the educational arena required a broadening of scope in title. “Crossroads Panorama: -Youth Education through The Arts” was born.
Joyce as Founder and Executive Director of this non-profit organization that provides opportunity for tax deductible donations. Funding is through individual donations, ticket sales and an occasional grant.
“Reach and Teach” is her motto. Joyce states assuredly, “If you can’t reach them, you can’t teach them.” Her aim is to use creative drama as a means of empowering youth to be successful. She helps youth to recognize their God-given gifts and provides a venue to use them in a specific experience to build self-confidence.
Some Woodlake Point residents have attended Joyce’s one-woman monologue performance of “Sojourner Truth.” She has authored two devotional books for women based on the life and history of a woman often celebrated during Black History Month and a book series for children entitled “Cherrywood Finds A Home.” And recent successful performances of “Scrooge In The Hood” were held in The Hub in Richfield. Joyce wrote, organized, and directed a large cast of volunteer actors and actresses—mainly young people—many of whom had never been in a play before. Whether at a grocery store, Dollar Store, Car dealership or on the street, she asks, “Would you like to be in a play?” They can’t just appear and it’s show-time, but must adhere to specific requirements including attendance at practice two times a week. “Scrooge In The Hood” is now nine years in the running and is revised a bit each year to make certain societal issues are current and relevant to the community served. Ilille, a very poised ten-year-old who appeared in the recent holiday performance, refers to her Director saying, “This is the woman that makes the vision happen”. Judy Hardin