Art as Mentorship
Empowering young people, through music, to write their own success stories.
OUR AMERI’KANA BLOCK PARTY WAS A SUCCESS!
EXPLORING AMERICAN MUSIC IN THE HEART OF KC.
Click here to learn more.
Our flagship program that started it all. The Rebel Song Academy consists of camps, workshops and classes that teach life skills, mental health principals and inspire young artists to write their own success stories.
RSA Ignition Camp
Young songwriters band together to write, produce, and release an original song! Students meet, ask questions, and learn from artists, musicians, and music industry professionals. Students performed their original songs at our Youth Summer Concert!
A NOTE FROM ENRIQUE
In my family, when hard times hit, we say “aquí no se gana, pero se goza.” It’s a way to make light of the challenges we’re facing. And like so many immigrants who came before us, after we have a little laugh about it, we get to work doing what we can to make things better for ourselves and our community.
The same is true for our team. As professional musicians, we’re no strangers to hard work, and community is everything. So together we weathered the storm that 2020 brought, laughed a little along the way, and kept doing what we’ve set out to do since 2011 — lift up the voices of historically underrepresented youth.
I’m proud to share the results of our work (three big new projects!) and to say that for Art as Mentorship, along with the hardest parts, 2020 was a year of growth. Now, as we find ourselves in an active youth mental health crisis, Art as Mentorship is beginning a second stage fundraising campaign so that we can continue to grow our impact.
I guess what we are saying is we need you. Would you join us in meeting this need for our youth?
All the best,
Art as Mentorship
ART AS MENTORSHIP IMPACT REPORT 2020
RSA LIVE! BRIDGES THE DISTANCE
Empowering young artists of all backgrounds, through music, to write their own success stories.
In 2020, we launched RSA Live!, the virtual sister program of our Rebel Song Academy. Operating in tandem with RSA, and spearheaded by Making Movies frontman and Art as Mentorship founder, Enrique Chi, we brought in nationally-reknown mentors to work directly with young artists of all backgrounds, empowering them, through music, to write their own success stories.
54,000 total livestream views
300 unique sign-ups
53 young artists from across the U.S.
27 weekly RSA Live! events
Through our nine years of work in the community, we learned that songwriting and other artistic expressions instill self-confidence, discipline, and entrepreneurial skills.
Artists like Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, Andy Vargas of Santana, Kevin Morby, and others were ready and willing to share their experience with our young artists. Ultimately, we diversified and increased our award-winning team of mentors from across the music industry.
RSA Live! Serves as an accesible link between students and their creative potential, acting as a pathway to our Rebel Song Academy, a more in-depth exploration of students’ young artistry.
“RSA Live was one of the few things I truly looked forward to in 2020”
—Julia Reynolds, AM Student
We’ve partnered with 90.9 The Bridge to co-host our RSA Live! streams and feature them on air monthly! The Bridge archives the streams to be enjoyed for years to come.
DIVERSITY MAKES US STRONGER
We are intentional about working with nationally-renowned industry professionals that reflect our young artists’ racial, cultural and gender identities.
Working directly with a diverse group of industry professionals gives our students special access to knowledge held only by those who’ve had success in the music industry.
We care deeply about our students’ physical and mental well-being. Working to make the Art as Mentorship community caring, inclusive and empathetic to all is a top priority of the organization.
83% of students say AM helped ease stress and anxiety.
100% said AM has help them feel more confident about their personal creative process.
100% gained the confidence to publicly showcase their art.
100% have gained a sense of community through AM.
Help us broaden our artistic horizons!
THE LAB: SMALL SPACE, BIG POTENTIAL
Equipped with professional tools to help young artists gain real-world skills and synthesize their own path to success.
Most young artists don’t have access to professional resources to develop their songwriting in a studio setting. So in 2020, we got to work building The Lab, a music studio in the InterUrban Arthouse in downtown Overland Park, Kansas. The principles behind The Lab are guided by our C.A.R.E. method for empowering students to synthesize their own path to creative and professional success. The Lab will be equipped with professional tools to help young artists gain real-world skills.
The construction is being guided by Scott McEwen, an experienced studio builder who collaborated with the city of Memphis to build Memphis Magnetic studios. The six-hundred square foot space will serve as a proof of concept to demonstrate what a full Art as Mentorship production studio and media lab could do for young artists.
In 2020, Art as Mentorship raised $27,000 toward The Lab, reaching more than 25% of the goal required to complete it. The Lab is scheduled to be completed April 1, 2021 and will begin to host in-person sessions and demonstrations when it is safe to do so.
In the meantime, we offered young artists use of a virtual recording space, where they wrote and performed 14 songs!
AMERI’KANA: A LIVING DOCUMENTARY
Celebrating the diversity of American music.
The pandemic forced us to find new ways to build community with an audience we could no longer see in person. Our answer? AMERI’KANA, a virtual festival celebrating the diversity of American music and its history. Our students would interact with artists from a wide range of genres and backgrounds, hear their stories, see themselves represented, and collaborate with them too. The vision was set and we began collecting performances and stories from musicians in Memphis, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and New York, but after hearing what they had to say we were compelled to find a way to make the festival live beyond one night.
80,000 total views
5,200 LIVE viewers via Facebook
AMERI’KANA returns virtually 9/25/2021
We aim for a physical festival in 2022!
Through recorded performances of live music, insightful conversation and music education, AMERI’KANA explores the rich DNA within the American music story. The 2020 festival had a real sense of magic around it, sparking many other ways to leverage the content, which led us to calling it a “living documentary,” as the platform and message began evolving: into television broadcasts, live-stream events, radio programs, youth-centered workshops, and ongoing conversations with world-class professionals in the music industry.
In 2021, AMERI’KANA continues as a special radio hour on 90.9 The Bridge with plans for a virtual festival in the fall, and we are looking for more partners as we prepare for an in-person festival at Crossroads KC in 2022.
Celebrating the diversity of American music and letting the next generation participate in the experience moves us closer toward healing the divisions we see today and building a stronger community for tomorrow.
Leave your mark on American music. Support AMERI’KANA here.
Art as Mentorship takes an innovative approach to exploring young artists’ full potential through creativity, mentorship opportunities, and fostering their inherent sense of exploration and achievement.
Our curriculums guide participants through the entire artistic process, building life and career skills as we collaborate through music writing, recording, producing, and promoting — all consistent with modern industry practices. It’s our vision that these skills will project the next generation forward on their personal path to write their own success story.
We C.A.R.E. Deeply
From the initial creative spark, to sharing their art with the world, young artists need a village of mentors and peers to help them find individual success. Art as Mentorship has designed The C.A.R.E. Method to deconstruct the entire creative process in music to include:
Creation – Harness the fundamental creative spark.
Alchemy – Find the right elements to make magic.
Release – Design an intentional plan to share your creation.
Experiment – Enter the life-long journey of building authentic audiences.
The C.A.R.E. Method is at the heart of all we do as an organization to empower young people, through music, to write their own success story.
We Make W.A.V.E.S.
We are all mentors and students.
Art is imperfect, progress is perfection.
Vulnerability is powerful and to be celebrated.
Encourage those around you.
Self discovery is a worthwhile journey.
Despite the pandemic, our Rebel Song Academy expanded its production in 2020, offering 27 shows/programs for students from across the country. The evolution of our Rebel Song Academy has been bolstered by our ability to virtually connect students directly with a variety of internationally recognized mentors. Our student body grew to more than 263 individuals with 53 of those being out-of-state students. During 2020, fourteen songs were written, performed and recorded in various studios and through virtual recording tools.