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"Keeping it Rio" Cultural Arts Program
$175 Raised
10% of $1.8k goal
4 contributors
0 days left
Ended Aug 17, 2014
“Keeping It Rio” is a collaborative project developed by a group of artists who have taught Brazilian Performing Arts to at-risk youth as our common platform. Since the program's inception, 2007 the L.A. Samba Kids “Keeping it Rio” ... More ...

“Keeping It Rio” is a collaborative project developed by a group of artists who have taught Brazilian Performing Arts to at-risk youth as our common platform. Since the program's inception, 2007 the L.A. Samba Kids “Keeping it Rio” represents our success in teaching performing arts skills to at-risk youth, while instilling in them a deep appreciation for the cultural basis of the art forms they are learning.  We believe we can replicate the success of our program to catalyze the development of at-risk students throughout the Americas

We have come together to write, produce, and direct a live theatre performance involving middle and high school students. We incorporate drumming, singing, narration, dance, and costumes to share the history of the Afro-Latino evolution of music rooted in West Africa.

The L.A. Samba Kids will use the funds to purchase 6 surdos (bass drums) 

2 Surdos 18"x22"

2 Surdos 20"x22"

2 Surdos 22"x24"

Total Costs = $1760

L.A. Samba Kids (LASK), a culturally rich, after-school arts education program founded on the Brazilian Carnival tradition, has since 2007 served urban, under-resourced middle and high school students in South Los Angeles, currently at John Muir Middle School. Our “Keeping It Rio” curriculum features California Visual and Performing Arts Content Standards-based classes in music, dance and movement, theatre, and visual and media arts, as well as a weekly personal development workshop. 

Through our program, youth develop creative and performance skills, practice personal discipline and healthy behaviors, gain a deeper connection to their cultural heritage, increase their self-confidence, learn leadership skills, and improve their interactions within their community, which empowers their personal, academic, and future outcomes. This year, several of our first “Samba Kids” will enter college on drum-line scholarships.

Vision Statement:

L.A. Samba Kids will lead students to increase their capacity for participation, performance, and leadership, broaden their vision of what they can achieve, and empower their personal, academic, and future outcomes. In the near future, we will expand and model our program for the benefit of additional students and their communities in South Los Angeles.

History of the Program

In 2007, severe budget cuts across the Los Angeles Unified School District decimated arts programs at many city schools. Beginning that same year with just 10 students, and expanding to the current enrollment of 60 students per semester, L.A. Samba Kids has provided an after-school arts education program to 6th-8th grade students at John Muir Middle School in South Los Angeles, representing the only arts program at the school since the catastrophic budget cuts. L.A. Samba Kids offers a beacon to students at John Muir, whose community registers the highest level of poverty, lowest level of educational attainment, and highest rate of violent crime in the city of Los Angeles.


Since 2007, L.A. Samba Kids has led the only student-based music ensemble at the school, which performs at all school assemblies, parent night, award ceremonies, 8th grade graduation, our feeder elementary schools, Budlong and Rincon, and a variety of community events throughout the Los Angeles area.


Description of the Program

L.A. Samba Kids is offered Monday through Friday from 3:45 to 6 PM on the school site. The program operates during what are considered peak hours for urban youth to be at greatest risk to participate in harmful behaviors, including substance abuse, gang participation, and unsafe sexual activities, and to become victims of violent crime.

L.A. Samba Kids provides ongoing classes in Music, Dance and Movement, Theatre, Visual/Media Arts, and Youth Leadership, a daily healthful snack, and a weekly Personal Development workshop. Participants write regular journal entries during interpretive art activities, and take at least two field trips each semester to art exhibits, art studios or performance schools, or performances. At the end of each semester, all students participate in an integrated culmination of the program, including performances, art exhibits, and personal expressions from the Personal Development workshops.

L.A. Samba Kids has performed at the following venues, among others:

  • KPFK Radio’s Global Village show

  • The John Anson Ford Peace Concert featuring Poncho Sanchez and Ziggy Marley

  • The annual Earth Day Celebration in South Los Angeles

  • The Greenpeace Quit Coal event

  • The annual Brazilian Carnival of Los Angeles

  • The annual Mardi Gras of Long Beach

  • "Mayweather" family recognition 2014
  • L.A. Galaxy Stubhub "Brazilian Heritage Nights"


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