For those of you who may not know me so well, I am a huge advocate for the arts and arts education. I think that a kid who can get on stage and do some sort of performance, can truly do anything.
For the past 3 years, I have been working with an amazing non-profit called The All Stars Project. Over the last few decades, the All Stars have touched thousands of lives by focusing on youth and community development through performance — especially in inner-city areas of New York. Their outlook is this, life is full of performances. The way you perform with your friends is different from the way you perform in the classroom or at a job interview. It’s this sort of education, paired with cosmopolitan experiences that help kids become “performers” who might not thrive otherwise.
The All Stars receives no government grants or funding. Why? Because they don’t want it. The stipulations associated with many grants can be limiting, and this organization does not want to be censored. That being the case, The All Stars relies heavily on donations from individuals and companies. I have donated both my time and money to this great cause before, and here’s why you should too…
Every grievance I hear regarding our government’s spending and youth development is being solved by the All Stars. Because at the end of the day, it’s not legislation and regulations that make a difference. — it’s community and personal investment. Here are some of the programs that The All Stars believe in…
- Our talented staff of volunteers put on amazing talent shows in Brooklyn, Harlem, and the Bronx. The kids audition, attend a performance workshop, and perform for their families, communities, and professional judges. They learn professionalism, time management, and respect. We do not censor the acts. So long as no audience member feels threatened, kids can express themselves with whatever language or movement they desire. We censor these kids enough as it is in their day to day lives. This is their time to explore.
- This is also the first time many kids will get on stage and have the opportunity to be heard and respected. It’s easy to take that for granted when you’re used to it (oh hey blog post). The audience knows they are also performing. Cheers and appreciation is given to every act that gets on that stage.
Operation Cops and Kids
- It’s time for reaction to turn into action. There have been many debates and protests over the way cops treat minority communities. At the All Stars we think the solution lies within our communities and it is up to us to start a dialogue that changes the relationship between these two groups. This program aims to help new cops and inner city kids better understand each other by interacting in a non-hostile environment. Through improv performance and conversation, teens and police officers can improve their relationships.
- UX provides free classes for people of all ages fostering continuous development. It’s great to get the kids involved and inspired, but when parents and grandparents are onboard too, that’s an unstoppable family. Whether it’s a modern dance class, a field trip to a museum, or a workshop on starting your own business, these classes encourage both personal and community growth.
I encourage you all to check out The All Stars Project website here (http://allstars.org). More people should know about this group.
I also encourage you to donate to this amazing organization. We have a Bowl-A-Thon happening this summer. I am a terrible bowler, and plan on making a fool of myself for these kids.
Again, we rely on donations from people who believe in what we’re doing.
It’s time to empower our youth, and help them learn through development.
I appreciate your enthusiasm and thoughtful donation.
Here’s the link to donate for the Bowl-A-Thon! http://www.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1155890&supId=388234338&extSiteType=2
3 thoughts on “Invest in Your Community.”
You rocked it last night on Red Eye, and you’re my favorite host 🙂 Keep representing both on Red Eye and in your neighborhood!!!
Joanne. Some say you are a good-looking, down-to-earth, Jersey Girl with a quick wit and common sense wisdom sorely lacking in television. Others are harsh in their judgements, quick to stereotype you, based on your looks.
I say, – and I wonder if anyone else out there thinks like this, – “Let the market decide.”
Your passion is contagious! Thanks for sharing.