Workshop # 3: Macla's DMCStudio Provides a Safe Space for Art and Discussion.

Acer Volunteer Dan Holden and his son, Max join the round table discussion.  Photo By Tammy Huynh (

Acer Volunteer Dan Holden and his son, Max join the round table discussion.

Photo By Tammy Huynh (

Time flies! We’re now at Workshop #3 with the Acer and DMCStudio team. This week brought us new Acer volunteers and new students. We love the welcoming vibe of the space! it makes for a great environment for youth, mentors and staff interact through art and discussion. These week’s topic was on education and depression.

DMCStudio Mentor, Rohnny Vallarta, facilitated the workshop. During table discussions, a topic is randomly chosen from a box. Education was the first topic that was chosen. Acer Volunteer, Regina Aquino mentioned the similarities she found during the workshop.

It was interesting to hear the similarities between my teenage years and the experiences of the youth that attended the workshop.  Overall, the same thematic challenges exist – social pressures, academic pressures, family pressures, etc. 
— Acer Logistics Specialist, Regina Aquino

The second topic was depression. We shared our thoughts about how mental health is not talked about enough. Their is also a stigma of seeking help especially through cultural factors. Macla’s DMCStudio is a place where we can speak freely and create that dialogue between our volunteers and mentors.

Acer volunteer, Michelle Leavitt, tells us why she was drawn to join Macla’s DMCStudio Poetry Workshop.

I think there are a lot of kids that do not have guidance in life. I want to be there for kids that may have questions or need guidance to get them through key times in life and help them head off in the right direction. Whether it is family issues or school support or to discuss future college plans.”

Leavitt adds “The youth need a place to go or a “home base”. It is important to have a somewhere to go to grow, learn and just hang out.  It is far better than roaming the streets and getting into trouble.
— Acer Director of Consumer Marketing, Michelle Leavitt

This is what Macla’s DMCStudio is for. To engage our youth in the arts, but also through these workshop become a safe place where youth can find guidance and support.