Our History

 

Helping youth, and the young at heart, to achieve physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual wellness through the performing arts.

Our Performing Arts History

The program began its mission in Washington, DC in 1999. Performing arts classes were taught in the areas of piano, violin, gymnastics, ballet, and tap through after-school programs. Whether the students received private lessons or were part of a group environment, their overall development was enhanced by their participation. Upon moving to Memphis in 2001, the Whitehaven area was selected for a target area of business. It was discovered that there was no outlet for performing arts in Whitehaven.

The program director and Bishop Byrne High School established a relationship that would prove beneficial to the entire community. It was agreed that classes would be taught by using two rooms within the school. Students came from Whitehaven and Levi communities as well as the entire greater Memphis area. The first semester recital was held at Eudora Baptist Church in East Memphis through relationships with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra who was housed there during this time. As the company entered into its second semester, the program continued to grow. However, socio-economic disparities began to play a role.

Although the company provided performing arts instruction at a rate of less than 50% of similar programs in East Memphis and Germantown, it became apparent that the average family income in the Whitehaven area would be strained to pay monthly fees. It is our hope that we can create scholarships for tuition so that any child who desires can develop their creative talents. In addition, the program was a 5-year shared space partner of First Congregational Church on Cooper Ave. as the program outgrew the allotted space at Bishop Byrne. Now in our 30th session of operation, the program strives to be a a positive force for change in the lives of youth and the young at heart.

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