Black youth, specifically within impoverished neighborhoods, need access to outlets that are not limited to sports, and spaces where they are allowed to express themselves. Dreamers Youth is creating that space.

Dreamers Youth’s first event at Vector90, a creative space co-founded by real estate developer David Gross and the late rapper Nipsey Hussle, was held on December 15, granting access to resources within a safe environment so that children from parts of the city such as South Central Los Angeles, can be afforded opportunities to chase their creative aspirations.

“Keeping the kids engaged in learning and keeping their imagination growing is very important because if we don’t do that, they’ll find other ways to be creative,” said Kiya Kassa, director of operations at Vector90. “We welcome this type of programming. It’s imperative and mission-aligned with what we strive to do here, we always want better options for the kids.”

The event allowed children ages 17 and under to attend workshops taught by notable creatives within the arts industry. DJing, graphic design, music and apparel production, painting and photography were the central focuses of the event.

The children were split into groups, and each group was granted a hands-on teaching session of each art form. The city of Los Angeles is home to many artists and during the workshops, attendees were granted an opportunity to see the next upcoming generation of talent.

Nadu Bankouadagba, a 14-year-old aspiring producer, is an example of why organizations such as Dreamers Youth are vital. “Events like this can be motivational for kids to keep going and open their eyes like, wow —this could be a way of life for me,’” said Bankouadagba.

Dreamers Youth at Vector90 (Photo by Krysta Hawkins)

Education and mentorship can be positive reinforcements to guide creative minds. By supplying both, the gap between those minds and their lack of resources can be bridged. “Kids look up to the people who they’re around and sometimes their surroundings aren’t the best,” said Matt Barnes, former Los Angeles Laker. “So, it takes the musicians, athletes and the people working today to show up and teach them a craft to help spark their brain.”

“I am always for creative thinking, and seeing children do something outside of what they’re expected to do,” said Ms. Hunter, South Central native and owner of HerFavorite LA. Art is essential in the development of a child because it holds the capability to enhance their self-esteem, and release anxiety. Giving kids different options to channel their expression is an investment.

Dreamers Youth is a nonprofit organization committed to serving children and increasing their creativity through supplying resources they do not have access to. We cannot complain about the youth, if we are not investing in them. We protect our young people from negative alternatives when we encourage events such as Dreamers Youth at Vector90.

Follow Dreamers Youth on Instagram.

Dreamers Youth at Vector90 (Photo by Krysta Hawkins)

Dreamers Youth at Vector90 (Photo by Krysta Hawkins)

LA Weekly