Musicians mentor Northeast teens

Abby Hoover
Managing Editor


Art as Mentorship, a Northeast Kansas City-based non-profit organization, takes an innovative approach to fully grasp young students’ full potential through music programs.


The program, located at 300 Gladstone Blvd., mentors teen musicians through a variety of opportunities.


Art as Mentorship’s team is made up of musicians, creatives and industry professionals who strive to lift the voices of our students. The mentors envision an inclusive community where under-represented artists are emboldened to raise their voices through music.


Enrique Chi officially founded Art As Mentorship in 2017. Enrique is the lead guitarist and vocalist for the Latin Grammy-nominated, Kansas City-based band Making Movies.


What began a decade ago as an after school music program at the Mattie Rhodes Center for an underserved community has grown into an organized network of international performing artists committed to guiding the next generation through the power of music.


At the heart of their program, the Rebel Song Academy is a youth music camp that helps young artists explore their full potential through creativity and mentorship opportunities — fostering their inherent sense of exploration and achievement.


Sign ups for the Spring 2023 session are open now at artasmentorship.org. The 12-week session will begin February 1 and end with the Spread Hope Concert on May 10.


The Academy is led by Art as Mentorship staff supported by a network of Grammy Award-winning professionals in the music industry who mentor the young artists.


The curriculum guides participants through the entire artistic process, building life and career skills as they collaborate through music writing, recording, producing, and promoting — all consistent with modern industry practices. It’s the mentors’ vision that these skills will project the next generation forward on their personal path to write their own success story.


Despite the pandemic, the 2020 Rebel Song Academy expanded its production, offering 27 shows and programs for students from across the country. The student body grew to over 263 individuals, with 53 of those being out-of-state students. During 2020, 14 songs were written, performed, and recorded in various studios and through virtual recording tools. In 2021 and 2022, they’ve been able to return to in-person programming, resulting in serving over 60 kids, recording 25 songs, launching their first annual music festival, and moving into a new headquarters.


Born from a collaboration of more than 30 leaders from various fields, the curriculum is based in mental health principles, fostering a sense of self-worth, creativity, and accomplishment. By selecting students from diverse and wide-ranging backgrounds, Art as Mentorship is fostering new ideas and representation into the next generation of artists in the community.
To learn more, listen to this week’s episode of the Northeast Newscast, available at NortheastNews.net, Spotify, iTunes, or TuneIn Radio.

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