Words Beats & Life Academy brings free graffiti, DJing, breakdancing courses to native faculties



Words Beats & Life is greater than only a competition of enjoyable occasions this week. The nonprofit additionally has an academy that brings artwork courses to native faculties.

WTOP’s Jason Fraley highlights the WBL Academy (Part 1)

This is Part 2 of a two-part sequence. Click right here for Part 1.

On Monday, WTOP informed you in regards to the Words Beats & Life Festival this week within the D.C. space.

Now, we discover the academic outreach that the nonprofit WBL Academy brings to native school rooms.

“There’s a large number of issues that match beneath the umbrella of the academy,” academy director Donney Rose informed WTOP. “At the forefront is the after-school programming, which takes place at St. Stephens Church. … We even have a digital academy, so if a teen lives within the DMV however lives past the town limits of D.C., they’ll take courses like graffiti, avenue artwork and poetry via our digital academy, so the academy is all-encompassing.”

Indeed, the WBL Academy presents free after-school artwork courses for youth ages 12 to 18 and younger adults ages 18 to 22 on the WBL headquarters in St. Stephens Church at 1525 Newton Street in Northwest D.C. Students can take the Green Line Metro to the Columbia Heights cease, which is an eight-minute stroll to the academy, or they’ll take the H8, S1 and S2 buses that cease at sixteenth and Newton streets in Northwest instantly in entrance of the academy.

The academy additionally visits the colleges themselves, at present offering in-school electives at Sousa Elementary School, John Hayden Johnson Middle School, Cardozo Education Campus and Anacostia High School. Past members embody Benjamin Banneker High School, Bancroft Elementary School, Payne Elementary School, Patterson Elementary School, J.O. Wilson Elementary School, and Columbia Heights Educational Campus.

“WBL is respiration life into the lives of those younger college students. We’re altering lives,” WBL in-school supervisor Javier Starks informed WTOP. “Imagine in between science and math you go study to be a DJ for an hour! We’re bringing a facet of artwork to colleges that the majority of us who’re listening to this interview have by no means skilled. Gym might need been the extracurricular spotlight of your day, however now you may simply go do graffiti in third interval.”

Snacks are served, however he insists that it’s not simply playtime. Students can truly earn faculty credit.

“At Sousa, particularly, we’re a graded class, so the children who come to our graffiti and comic-book creation class get grades that go on their report playing cards that result in their transcript,” Starks stated. “We supply breakdancing, graffiti, DJing, MCing, poetry, chess, images, African drumming, Manga creation, comic-book creation, digital illustration, entrepreneurial courses, step courses — it’s continually increasing and these courses are all free.”

While some college students could uncover a future profession within the arts, others can merely use it to stimulate their brains for his or her different normal programs all through the day, utilizing flip tables to kick-start their instances tables.

“Kids are like, ‘This is the good factor ever!’” Starks stated. “Kids are very excited to come back to class. Principals and lecturers have talked about that some college students who usually tend to not be engaged have been wanting ahead to artwork. At Sousa, they don’t have an artwork program, so we’re the artwork. Thinking of underserved communities who could or could not have these packages in any respect, it’s cool to be the artwork program in some areas — and never orthodox artwork.”

WTOP’s Jason Fraley highlights the WBL Academy (Part 2)

Listen to our full dialog right here.

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