The Black Eyed Peas Peapod Foundation and Adobe Foundation Launch Youth Academy in New York
Fourth Music and Multimedia Academy Fosters Creativity and Expression for Underserved Youth
NEW YORK — — The Black Eyed Peas Peapod Foundation and the Adobe Foundation are launching a new Peapod Adobe Youth Voices music and multimedia academy in New York City. Building on the success of existing academies in Oakland, Los Angeles and Redwood City, Calif., the collaboration between the two non-profit foundations focuses on empowering underserved youth. The academies make leading technologies available for art, dance, music and video production which, in turn, nurture self-expression, creativity, community involvement and digital literacy among young people.
The New York academy will be located at 21 Howard Street in a facility operated by Urban Arts Partnership, an organization designed to advance the intellectual, social and artistic development of underserved public school students through arts-integrated education programs. The site will feature professional-grade multimedia creation software and an innovative curriculum developed by Adobe Youth Voices, the signature program of the Adobe Foundation, combined with high-tech music studio tools and a premium recording facility provided by the Peapod Foundation. Through the creation of digital media projects and expression via the performing arts, underprivileged teens are given the opportunity to find their voices, comment on important topical issues and inspire social change in their communities.
Six-time Grammy Award-winning recording artists The Black Eyed Peas – will.i.am, apl.de.ap, Taboo and Fergie – will officially announce the new Peapod Adobe Youth Voices Academy at a private ceremony today. Beginning July 2011, programs and services will be offered for youth ages 13-19. An estimated 150 youth are expected to participate in the academy annually.
“We are thrilled to work with the Peapod Foundation and Adobe Foundation to provide cutting edge programs to our youth,” said Philip Courtney, executive director, Urban Arts Partnership. “The academy will provide our young people with ongoing, multi-year opportunities to advance their artistic, academic and social development and make a difference in the world around them.Our goal is to motivate students to express their views in fresh, powerful ways – whether in a video documentary they produce themselves, a music recording or a dance performance.”
“Our passion for music and media was fueled by many generous people on our road to success,” said will.i.am. “Expanding the network of Peapod Adobe Youth Voices Academies enables us to pay it forward, giving more youth the skills and encouragement they need to realize their dreams.”
“We have seen tremendous results from our youth participants since we first partnered with the Peapod Foundation in August 2009,” said Michelle Mann, executive director, Adobe Foundation. “Not only are these teens building self esteem and exploring their creativity with leading-edge technologies, they are bringing change and awareness to social issues affecting their communities and acquiring the critical, real-world skills they need to prosper in the global 21st century economy.”
The Peapod Adobe Youth Voices Academies have served more than 1,000 teens to date. A fifth site, planned for San Jose, Calif., will be opened later this year. Students from the Redwood City academy have traveled as far as Washington, D.C., and Munich, Germany, to screen and perform their projects at conferences such as the U.S. Department of Education’s National Youth Summit and the Digital Life Design Women’s Conference.
About Urban Arts Partnership
Urban Arts Partnership, founded in 1991 as a not-for-profit cultural organization based on the belief that art is essential to human development, education and culture, provides arts education and integration programs to underserved schools and communities throughout New York City. Urban Arts Partnership currently partners with 65 underserved schools, impacting more than 12,000 students annually with the mission ofadvancing the intellectual, social and artistic development of underserved public school students through arts-integrated education programs to close the achievement gap.For the past 18 years, UAP has created in-depth partnerships with schools and communities by implementing art programs that help youth better understand essential academic content while exploring new tools to support their social and emotional development. UAP’s theater, video, visual arts, dance, design, poetry, and music education programs have visited over 250 New York City public schools and engaged more than 30,000 young people, teachers and community members. An emphasis on inquiry-based pedagogy challenges young people to become active learners, eager to exercise critical thinking, leadership and creative skills.
About The Black Eyed Peas Peapod Foundation
The Black Eyed Peas Peapod Foundation encourages social change by uniting people, especially children, through the universal language of music. In 2008, the foundation opened the first Peapod Music & Arts Academy, a state-of-the-art music and educational center and recording facility serving foster care youth and other at-risk teens, at the Watts/Willowbrook Boys and Girls Club. The Peapod Foundation was established as a Charitable Service Fund administered by the Entertainment Industry Foundation. For more information, visit www.thepeapodfoundation.com.
About Adobe Youth Voices
Adobe Youth Voices is the Adobe Foundation’s global philanthropic initiative that empowers youth from underserved communities with digital media skills so they can comment on their world, share their ideas and take action on issues that are important to them. By harnessing the energy and insight of youth 13-19 years old, Adobe Youth Voices aims to inspire a dialogue for change in their communities. The program engages youth to express themselves through documentary videos, photography, print media, radio diaries, animation, Web communications and other media. Since 2006, the Adobe Youth Voices global network has grown to more than 700 sites, grantees and organizations in 45 countries, and has engaged more than 76,000 youth and 4,000 educators in schools and out-of-school programs. For more information, visit www.youthvoices.adobe.com.
About the Adobe Foundation
The Adobe Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private foundation created and funded by Adobe Systems Incorporated to leverage human, technological and financial resources to drive social change and community improvements.
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