Irie Foundation Allapattah Music and Literacy Center
Since opening its doors, the center has become a beacon of hope for a community that was in desperate need of such culturally enriching arts activities and educational assistance. In 2013, The Motivational Edge was awarded the prestigious Knights Arts Challenge presented by the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation for its Art of Creative Writing and Lyrical Expression. This award funded our Lyrical Expression program for under-resourced teens through 2015, and established the basis for many of these teen's aspiring artistic inclinations. In July of 2014, the center was renamed the Irie Foundation Allapattah Music and Literacy Center due to the generous contributions made by local celebrity and one of our most avid supporters, DJ Irie and his Irie Foundation.
The Art of Creative Writing and Lyrical Expression
Overview: This inspirational program takes youth on a journey of self-discovery through creative writing, song-writing and lyrical expression, while at the same time offering a rare and safe outlet for them to positively express themselves, without being judged. It also provides youth with an opportunity to learn various aspects of audio technology, performance etiquette and recording procedures, while integrating components of literacy into the program, which translates into the academic setting.
Therapeutic Arts for Foster Youth
Since early 2011, we have worked with hundreds of youth in foster care around Florida to help them find their voices and become successful young adults. Our expressive arts programs use art and creativity to help youth connect to their problems, give voice to their emotions, and learn techniques (art, music, movement and poetry) that heal. Through the experience of our programs, the youth's individuality and self-esteem are supported and enhanced.
Urban Arts Expression
This class can be utilized in conjunction with The Art of Creative Writing and Lyrical Expression, as many of the kids will create a pseudonym and will want to make it "come alive" visually through their art and musical works. This program represents a broader cross-section of the Arts, so while it deals with traditional street-art, it also involves art using more relevant media with subject matter that youth can relate to, living in a technology-heavy world. It is primarily project based, focusing on numerous components of STEAM, while teaching youth the fundamentals of various artistic mediums.
Although the class is art based, writing activities and verbal expression will be incorporated, where the students describe their creative works by writing and presenting to their peers (when appropriate). Through our guided Free Draw activities, each student will be encouraged to draw and/or write about anything they choose, which often leads to a sense of new-found confidence, breakthroughs and self-expression more than anything else.
Statewide Inpatient Psychiatric Program for Teenagers
Our staff works with nearly 40 male and female teenagers each Saturday and Sunday exposing them to various art forms that they wouldn't otherwise be afforded. Our instructors work closely with the staff onsite to ensure that a true holistic approach is taken, considering the severity of diagnoses on site, which are often co-morbid in nature.