Los Angeles is known to some as the ‘Gang Capital’ of America. While many reports are expressing record lows in juvenile crime, the dips aren’t consistent neighborhood to neighborhood, and incarceration rates are still spiking. Committed to meeting the needs of Los Angeles’ most vulnerable youth, we identify and work with communities, schools, and detention centers with the most incidents of violence and crime, and the highest poverty, incarceration, and dropout rates.
We are devoted to Los Angeles’ youth, and believe that there is hope for each one if given the right opportunity and support, and that’s exactly what we do. A majority of the youth involved in our programming (over 1,200 annually) live in poverty, have visions of futures shaped by violence and loss, struggle with reading and writing skills, and as a result, have low self esteem and broken relationships. Our team uses the stage as a vehicle for confidence, hope, reconciliation and belonging.
It’s not easy to teach a child to write, it’s even harder to teach them how to get in front of an audience to direct and perform their words, vulnerably, before their peers, families, and communities. Both in our school programs and juvenile detention centers—in conjunction with a county and state approved curriculum developed in-house—the youth write, direct, and perform their stories, uncensored, and in their own voices. The resulting outcomes for these young people are lasting and life-changing.