Arts for Survival Toolkit

The New School for Social Research (NSSR) offers unique types of studio courses, pairing teams of students with industry partners to undertake real-world projects. Beginning in the fall 2013 semester, NSSR has been offering Arts for Survival Toolkit, a collaboratory innovation project to see if Live Action Role Play (LARP) Games are appropriate as a Creative Arts Therapy tool specifically for survivors of trauma such as human trafficking, domestic violence, homelessness, and child abuse. The goal of this course is to create a LARP as a social/emotional skills game as part of the New School Collaboratory Innovation grant initiative with The Polaris Project, an advocacy group for human trafficking survivors.
Note: Because these are serious traumas, the program will not be running the LARP with trauma survivors but rather the students will create and test LARP games using their experiences and research.

Students learn to work together in a variety of roles – producer, game designer, actor, set designer, production artist, writer, documentary video and audio recorders– to create a compelling LARP with documentation that will be part of the archive of projects for the Arts for Survival Toolkit.

Students learn how test the LARP experience with guidance from game experts, therapists, and Polaris administrators over the developmental process and revise the experience based on their feedback. We will explore assessment/evaluation tools such as surveys, interviews, and social/emotional intelligence scales to measure client’s reaction, pre and post intervention.
The studio culminates in a final live-action game that provides a new way of building emotional/social intelligence, life skills, strengthening identity and relationships, and enhancing creativity in trauma survivors.

New School Art for Survival Toolkit Learning Objectives

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