The purpose of the UP (Unlocking Potential) program is to improve and strengthen the community as we build positive citizens while unlocking their potential through programs that inspire, educate, uplift and restore individuals and families
We are a grassroots community organization working throughout the Greater Charleston area. We partner with organizations such as PATHS https://www.facebook.com/Public-Arts-for-Health-and-Stability-PATHS-775925025836465/ on projects including local murals that help inspire and influence communities.
Our Vision is to strengthen and develop the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual characteristics of individuals while training them to be inspirational leaders through the use of creative and performing arts, science education, community service, financial planning, life skills and team building activities. It is our hope to disrupt the 4 Is of oppression using the power of Art and Service.
We utilize methods that focus on developing a healthy self esteem which in turn creates a strong sense of self worth, respect and value for others and a want to accomplish things at their highest potential resulting in the reduction of youth suicides, arrests, homicides and drop outs as we work towards disrupting the school to prison pipeline and heal our communities.
Some Of Our Tools:
* 7 core principles of Kwanzaa
* Cognitive Behavioral Model
* Restorative Justice Practices
We host private workshops in/outside of schools, churches, community centers and more that give youth and families a voice, encourage team building, unity, teach restorative justice practices and develop leadership skills. These workshops can include drum circles, skits, painting, break dancing, stepping and more. Community Art is healing, freedom, liberation and restoration.
Contact Us below to request any of the following workshops:
Write Out Loud (WOL)- This is a workshop guiding individuals on how to use journaling as a tool to express themselves and release stress.
Peace Circles:- Learn how to conduct your own Peace Circles in order to help heal our communities. A peace circle is a Restorative Justice model that, like other Restorative Justice practices, can be used to address conflict holistically and solve problems. Peace circles emphasize healing and learning through a collective group process, aiming to repair harm done and assign responsibility by talking through the problem. (http://www.studentpeacealliance.org/uploads/2/9/4/4/29446231/peace_circles-3.pdf)
Host a Slush and Brush: Have you heard of or participated in a sip and paint with friends? Now learn painting techniques with the family or community of all ages and enjoy slushies during the process.
Contact us for other available workshops and check our calendar for upcoming events.
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve conditions. Your generous donation will fund our mission. There are three ways you can donate. You can make a general donation, become a sustaining donor or volunteer.
This year we are taking it to the stage. Our students are working with Published Author, Diversified Artist and UP Director Anastatia Ketchen on the production of I Heard Chicago Crying: Outcry (IHCC). This book is being translated on stage with the assistance of the UP program. IHCC addresses the issues of Gun Violence and Hate crimes. Together with the UP students we will show how community issues including but not limited to gentrification, poverty and the school to prison pipeline contribute to the rise of Gun Violence and Hate Crimes.
As we prepare the production students will read the original book, be introduced to script writing and analysis, stage production, meet local community leaders and interact with local grassroots organizations addressing these issues. Students will also develop their own campaign addressing the issues of gun violence and hate crimes and its current impacts on their generation.
During Spring Break of 2019 (March 23-March 29) Students traveled to New York and met organizations that are using Art as Creative Resistance in hopes to inspire their work. Students returned with their knowledge and will create their own community workshops to share what they have learned and are developing
Other projects include:
I Heard Chicago Crying: Outcry (Play/Art Installation)- October 26th, 2019 6 pm at Burke High School Auditorium
This year we are taking it to the stage. Our UP (Unlocking Potential) students are working with Published Author, Diversified Artist and UP Director Anastatia Ketchen on the production of I Heard Chicago Crying: Outcry (IHCC). This book is being translated on stage in partnership with D.RI.V.EN. LLC. IHCC addresses the issues of Gun Violence and Hate crimes. Together we will show how community issues including but not limited to gentrification, poverty and the school to prison pipeline contribute to the rise of Gun Violence and Hate Crimes. Together we are raising awareness and reinstating the value of life.
Demetria E. Johnson aka Demi
Kenyawn Jerrell Grant aka WHOSAIN
RBM School of The Arts
Elder Carlie Towne
Stop the Bleeding Story Circle- TBA
Stop The Bleeding and Start The Healing Concert
Check out I Heard Chicago Crying: Outcry
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This video is a short film identifying the issue of gun violence in our community as described in I Heard Chicago Crying:Outcry by Anastatia Ketchen. It is a fictional story based on real events. Our students in the UP program will continue to develop their own artistic ways to continue this conversation.