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Black Eyed Peas Help Start Arts Academies

Aiming to bring the arts to urban communities, pop superstars The Black Eyed Peas and the Adobe Foundation have launched several Peapod Adobe Youth Voices Academies that will give kids access to use video, dance, music and art.

The Black Eyed Peas' Peapod Foundation and the Adobe Foundation have partnered to provide youth from underserved communities access to music and multimedia production tools and the high-tech skills to use them. Through their collaboration, the Peapod Foundation and Adobe Foundation said they hope to spark social change in their communities.

"As a group, we've made a commitment to help give teens the artistic tools and opportunities to help them realize their fullest potential," said of The Black Eyed Peas. "Thanks to the incredible generosity of Adobe Youth Voices, we are able to expand our vision and give even more kids a chance to be productive, enterprising adults."

The aim of the campaign is to nurture self-expression, creativity, community involvement and digital literacy among young people. In addition, participants can learn practical skills that will help them in school and beyond. For example the Oakland, CA academy estimates that 40 youth in the music production track will become proficient in computer and software use, lyric writing, beat making, recording, and music production and marketing. The program also expects another 40 to become skilled in video production, writing and graphic arts.

Technical classes are tracked through pre- and post-skills tests and through final media arts projects in music and video. Youth also receive training in life skills such as stress reduction through guidance in meditation and yoga practice, while receiving support for self-esteem building, cultivation of professionalism and job-readiness support.

The Peapod Academies are not just an extracurricular activity. Students receive high school credits for attending Peapod Adobe Youth Voices Academy in Oakland. Housed at The Green Youth Arts & Media Center, a creative empowerment hub in Oakland, this after-school program is in direct collaboration with three local high schools. Students from the schools get high school credit for attending the music, video and dance programs.

While the program is currently centralized in California, the group plans to open more academies nationwide, before taking the program global.


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