Finding the Gold Inside: Alchemy for Urban Youth

Karina Epperlein

This film is built around a long excerpt from a 2014 award-winning film by Karina Epperlein. Both are about Alchemy, Inc., an award-winning after school youth program fusing drumming and mythology, in a well-designed and powerful approach. In addition to a lengthy excerpt from the film, there are interviews with experts who address the methodology and history of the group. G. Kwame Scruggs, whose Ph.D. is in Mythological Studies and Depth Psychology, is the founder and co-leader of Alchemy. Robert Miller is a music therapist who is trained in drumming circles as well as Guided Imagery and Music (GIM). Both describe and deconstruct ways of working with youth groups using culturally relevant myths and drumming, which increase both self-knowledge and confidence. The film itself touches on universal and existential struggles, as well as racial justice issues facing young Black men. We hope you will enjoy this brief taste of the power of both myth and music to facilitate change and self-esteem in a thoughtful, sensitive, and creative intervention.

Commentary by G. Kwame Scruggs, PhD, MA & Robert Miller, MS, MT-BC

Total Running Time: 58 minutes, 52 seconds



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