On February 2, 2016, I officially started The Battleground Urban Arts Center (501c3) which is a safe place where urban youth, ages 13–20, can come and have access to professional instruction in the four core elements of hip hop (MCing, DJing, breakdancing, and legal graffiti art). Not only do they receive the instruction but they have full access to equipment and resources to develop them as artists.
However, we are not just about developing young artists. We are about helping them further themselves in regard to academic literacy, critical thinking, social skills, and being engaged and active in their communities locally, nationally, and globally. Students at The Battleground are involved in discipleship/mentorship-focused relationships with adult leaders and are exposed to real, tangible examples of living out the Gospel.
As you know, so many of our urban youth struggle to overcome and succeed, and one of the major reasons is that they don’t have access to solid, structured programs where they can freely express themselves and communicate what is going on in their personal lives. The Battleground was created for that purpose.
I’m tired of kids who overcome tough environments getting viewed as some sort of anomaly. I want kids overcoming tough environments to be the rule, not the exception.
Right now we are sharing a couple rooms with The Church at Woodbine. They have given us an incredible space that will allow us to grow for a good amount of time. We are in the heart of a low-income neighborhood on the south side of Nashville surrounded by youth who are starving for a place to express themselves and to be safe.
Currently, we only have one recording and production station (which is my own personal equipment) so we need to raise money to acquire more equipment to be able to work with more and more kids. Our goal for 2016 is at least $35,000 as soon as we can. That will provide us with more recording and production stations, art supplies for our legal graffiti program, turntables and sound equipment for our DJ program, and will help support current and future employees of The Battleground. We have countless students waiting to get involved with our programs but until we raise the money, we cannot reach all of them.
Any donation that you could give would be appreciated SO MUCH by our students and leaders! Please consider giving so that we can reach as many of Nashville’s urban youth as we can. All donations are tax-deductible.
If you are interested in supporting The Battleground in other ways (such as in-kind donations or volunteering), please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.