BEATS Music Program | City of Ideas
Issue to be Addressed:
Boston is in the grip of a youth violence epidemic. There were 135 homicides in the City of Boston in 2010 & 2011 and more than 50% of the victims of these crimes were young men between the ages of 14 and 25, according to the Boston Police Department. Between 2000 and 2007, the gun homicide rate for black men between the ages of 14-17 increased by 40%. We are concerned on the impact this has on the wider population, on witnesses of violence, the siblings of victims and friends who often receive little to no support in their schools and community. Ultimately, this perpetuates the cycle of violence and incarceration. The impact of losing a loved one to violence manifests itself in behavioral and academic challenges, mental health issues and even harming self and others.
Our program works with youth who have lost a sibling to violence and provides them with music therapy. The goal is to replace reactionary violence with positive creative expression. We are devoted to the musical enrichment and enhancement of the whole person as described throughout Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Each student is assessed and a plan is developed and tailored for the needs of the student respectively. Each individual program is designed to provide the students with social enhancements while using music as the operational tool for implementation. Students study piano and vocal lessons 3 times per week for 3 hours. They spend one of the days at a recording studio learning how to use the equipment and work in a professional environment. Visiting artists, from rappers to drummers, offer workshops to expand their exposure to different forms of expression. Each lesson tackles important topics such as how to deal with anger and other potentially destructive emotions. They learn self-discipline, creative expression, life skills, communications and most importantly get healing in a nontraditional therapeutic setting. They are able to break down the walls of isolation by sharing a space with other young people who have experienced the same trauma and can relate to them.
Role of Collaboration:
The Louis D Brown Peace Institute and Legacy Lives on will be responsible for recruiting the young men through their pre-existing networks. Dr. Catherine Koverola will assist with developing the curriculum headed by Deon Mose and Press Pass TV. In addition, she will help recruit classroom assistants from Lesley’s graduate school. Deon Mose will head the program and teach the lessons.
Press Pass TV will administer the program, manage the infrastructure and all evaluations. In addition, Press Pass TV will secure all visiting artists.
We will use music to heal and build our community. Youth whose lives have been impacted by violence do not respond well to traditional therapy. As such, they are often left untreated and resistant to getting the help that they so desperately need. Our program will reverse the following effects: 1) disengaging from their education (sometimes even dropping out); we will re-ignite their love of learning 2) anger and reactionary violence; we will provide them with creative outlets and practical ways to manager these emotions 3) lack a safe environment; we will provide them with a supportive environment with other youth they can relate to.
In addition, they will play and have FUN- something childhood and healthy development is rooted in and which these youth are robbed of through an act of senseless violence. Solidarity is a strong antidote for trauma. Trauma stigmatizes- we bear witness and affirm their humanity and strength while building resilience.
Within the inner cities we have lost a long list of voices that once helped harmonize the sounds of our community, yet violence has tried to silence these voices and hate has worked to remove them from the rhythm of life.
From the sounds of slaves giving directions of freedom and songs along the Underground Railroad, to the anthems of “We Shall Overcome” and “I’m Black and I’m Proud” right up to the sounds of America’s hope and victories in the “Star Spangled Banner;” we have told our stories of success and losses in our music.
Our music is our life-line, no different than the rhythms of a heartbeat that keeps us alive. It is an ongoing harmony in the human thread of all we do. Music has helped and healed our community and it must do so again.
Joanna Marinova and Press Pass TV
About Press Pass TV: Press Pass TV is an award-winning organization that harnesses the power of media arts to provide meaningful education and employment for youth living in underserved neighborhoods. We offer creative outlets as an alternative to violence, teach life-sustaining skills and empower communities to find shared solutions and envision a better world.
Originally from Bulgaria, Ms. Marinova is an award-winning media producer and human rights advocate. She has taught
extensively on the use of media arts in creating a fair and just
society and serves as Co-Director of the media nonprofit Press Pass TV. She has led several community education and mobilization efforts from Domestic Violence to Corrections and CORI Reform. Her work has been featured on radio, television (from NBC to BNN), print and in film festivals. With Press Pass TV, she has led workshops in media literacy and production at Boston Public Schools, and has presented at various conferences and universities. She is a member of the National Organizers Alliance and has written for The Youth Media Reporter and the Huffington Post.
In 2011, she organized and created the groundbreaking Anonymous Boston exhibit which focused on urban violence in the city of Boston. The exhibit was tremendously successful and widely covered by all major media from the Boston Globe to PBS. As a result, she became a lead consultant and Performance Co-orindator for Violence Transformed in 2012. VT is an annual series of visual and performing arts events that celebrate the power of art, artists and art-making to confront, challenge and mediate violence.
She has since produced a short film on the impact of violence on siblings and headed the What is Beautiful Never Dies music project in April 2012 which culminated in a show at Roxbury Community College.
Deon Mose, Music Therapist Berklee College of Music
Deon has had a long-standing professional career in music entertainment and youth music program development. Deon acquired early experience through leadership as well as assisting in the development stages of music programs throughout many statewide organizations.
Deon offers her musical expertise and passion daily as a CEO, program developer, music instructor and vocal coach. With a wealth of knowledge in music Deon received a number of awards, certificates and recognitions throughout the tri-state area. Deon has had the opportunity to share stages with many artists including: Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary, Kelly Price, Dave Hollister, Mali Music, Karen Clark Sheard, Marvin Sapp, Ledisi, Fred Hammond and Richard Smallwood just to name a few.
After pursuing a Bachelor’s in Social Work, Deon decided to pursue an education in music and combine her social work education with her innate music ability. Deon currently attends Berklee College of Music with a North American Tour Tuition Based Scholarship studying Music Therapy. Deon has established herself as a successful businesswoman. She was appointed as the After School Music Program Director – The Perkins Community Center, Dorchester, MA. Continuing with her leadership ability, social work education and musical expertise, Deon began developing programs combining social instruction & leadership development through music application and implementation.
She is currently the Instructor and Director of the “Shining Stars” after school keyboarding program - Dillaway Thomas House, Roxbury, MA. Deon has established Mose Music – Quality Music for Quality People. While in Boston, Deon also assists in the capacity of Co-Director of Events for Violence Transformed, Coordinator of Boston Children Gospel Choir (BCGC), National Youth Advisor for United Churches in Christ (UCIC), Program Coordinator of the Arts and Expressions division of TANNC Café.
Amongst Deon’s accomplishments she’s also a recording artist. She released her freshman album - Transitions in 2008 and sophomore album Metaphoria May 2012. Both cds available on Itunes, Rhapsody, Amazon and Spotify. With a plethora of noted accomplishments and experience, Deon still believes that everyday should provide a learning experience capable of changing one’s life forever. It is her vow to give back to our underserved communities – the precious gift of music and priceless feeling of joy.
Clarissa Turner, Executive Director, Legacy Lives On
On Monday, November 28, 2011, my son Marquis and I were spending time together. My son left to visit his youngest son, I remember telling my baby “mommy loves you and I’ll see you tomorrow”. My tomorrow never came. On Tuesday, November 29th, my door bell rang and it was a detective coming to telling me that my son was killed. He was shot in the back of the head and found lying in the street. That was a very painful and empty feeling that I would never wish on anyone. I wanted this nightmare to end. I wanted to see and hold my son.
The tragedy left my other children devastated, especially my eldest daughter who saw my son as a "father figure." I am especially concerned with my other son, who is dealing with so much anger and pain as a result of the loss- an outlet must be provided to process the trauma in a healthy manner.
I know God as the head of my life and I need to keep myself wrapped up in his prayer and around positive people. I had to bury my son at 24 years old. He leaves behind two sons and a daughter. This whole tragedy hurts because Marquis valued life and he wanted to live. Through my storm God has placed people around me so that I do not lose myself in my heartbreak. Today I am searching for change, support, peace and justice for my son and the many families that have gone through this type of loss.
Currently detectives are still investigating my son’s death. I'm waiting and hoping that the person who killed my son is caught and justice is served. I will continue to pray because I know God is the only way I can get through this. I thank everyone who has shared their stories with legacy lives on. I will continue to share my son's legacy and aim for change. Through the death of my son, came the birth of Legacy Lives On.
Tina Cherry: Executive Director of The Louis D Brown Peace Institute
The Louis D. Brown Peace Institute was founded in 1994 to assist and support families of homicide victims in the City of Boston. Today, the Peace Institute works with schools, families (both of victims and offenders), and communities to promote peace and unity. It is a place for families to turn in the wake of violence, offering resources and counsel to help those confronted with the death or arrest of a loved one.
Tina lost her son to violence which prompted her to start the Louis D Brown Peace Institute. Today, they serve 98% of families affected by gun violence in Boston.
The have found that expressive therapy such as music and arts are the most impactful when it comes to working with the siblings of victims.
Dr. Catherine Koverola; Dean of Graduate Studies at Lesley University
Koverola comes to Lesley from Antioch University Seattle where she served as Dean of the School of Applied Psychology, Counseling and Family Therapy as well as Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs. She previously served in a number of administrative posts such as Department Chair of Psychology and Director of the Alaska Rural Behavioral Health Training Academy at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
“Dr. Koverola brings a unique set of academic administrative experience to her role as Dean of GSASS; in particular, her experience with developing mental health programs with a cross cultural emphasis” said President Moore. “We’re looking forward to her joining Lesley, and bringing her expertise to our faculty and students’ work in the breadth of GSASS programs.”
At Antioch, Koverola was instrumental in establishing the Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs, the Center for Teaching and Learning, and several new program specializations within psychology. In Alaska, Koverola directed the development of the first joint doctoral program in the state by developing a collaborative partnership between the Fairbanks and Anchorage campuses. Dr. Koverola is an internationally recognized scholar in the area of interpersonal victimization in cross cultural contexts. She has an impressive publication record with extensive funding from numerous federal agencies as well as private foundations. Koverola earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the Fuller Theological Seminary School of Psychology, her MA in Theology from the Fuller Theological Seminary School of Theology, her MA in Psychology from The University of Western Ontario, and her BSc in Biology from The University of British Columbia.
She currently works with Violence Transformed where she met Joanna Marinova and is interested in how art therapy can contribute to breaking the cycle of violence.