Now operating out of three High Schools in North Philadelphia, our aim and our process are simple.
- Give students a platform to build their voice and share their stories through the process of songwriting, recording, and performing.
- Connect these young artists 1-on-1 to an experienced local artist mentor from the Philadelphia music scene.
In our after-school program, students work with mentors for 8 weeks, as they write and record their own music, often for the first time. As one 10th Grade participant put it:
“I like the fact that we get to do our music and use our talent in our way. And not, in any other way or how anybody wants it. We get do it freely how WE want to do it.”
What is produced from these sessions are our AYA Project Albums, featuring the original songs of each student, along with original titles and artwork also developed by mentors and students. Our first album, featuring six students from Kensington CAPA High School, was released in 2016 and set the stage for our program to double in size, serving 12 students at two different schools in 2017. And while we could easily talk for hours (or pages) about our own love for AYA, to truly understand the impact of our program, it is best to hear it from the students themselves:
To Be Raised
Where to From Here
In the 2017-2018 School Year, AYA Project is excited to be pursuing further expansion into a third North Philadelphia school. While we recognize the significant investment this will require by all involved, we continue to operate, as we always have, on the simple principle that our children are worth it. That their dreams deserve to be followed and their voices deserve to be heard. And that collectively, we can make this possible.
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