LOUD : Encouraging local youth to live out their dreams

    LOUD (Living Out Ur Dreams) Inc. is an arts and education based nonprofit organization in Beaufort County. They operate as a conduit for student and community success leading our curriculum with project based instruction. LOUD views its youth as a valuable resource and seeks to build bridges between its members and their community.


    Their mission is to encourage youth to live out their dreams! They utilize slam style poetry, music composition and music engineering and production as a means of focusing on three components of success: academic achievement, violence prevention and holistic development. By using these media art forms, LOUD empowers its participants to overcome negative peer pressure, and encourages them to develop healthy values and positive attitudes and habits, ultimately leading to better decision making skills.

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    PROGRAM STRUCTURE

    Currently, LOUD runs on a year round schedule offering after school programming to teens, ages 13-19 in Beaufort County. They have offered free after school programming consistently since the summer of 2009.

     

    TARGETED YOUTH POPULATION

    • A negative or non-existent home life.
    • Past victims of abuse.
    • Poverty.
    • Gang affiliation.
    • Peer pressure and family pressures to participate in illegal or irresponsible activities.
    • Low self-esteem and no positive identity.
    • No sense of achievement in positive areas.

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    Last year 90% of the students participating in LOUD raised their high school GPA’s the equivalent of a full letter grade.

    LOUD students also received violence prevention training using the Mentors in Violence Prevention curriculum, administered by staff from Hope Haven of the Lowcountry, and created public service announcements regarding South Carolina’s lack of protocol for domestic violence in teen and same sex relationships.

    Recording Arts/Sound Design

    LOUD’s Recording Arts and Sound Design Program serves as a vehicle in which youth have an opportunity to express themselves through the art and process of creating original instrumentals and audio and vocal recording. Students are provided industry standard training in recording arts equipment enabling them to produce a high-quality creative product.

    Slam Poetry

    Slam Poetry is a word-based performance art that uses a combination of literary techniques and vocal dynamics to bring power to words and people. LOUD’s Slam Poetry Program provides students with the opportunity and know how to express themselves through the written word and bring texture and power to the spoken word.

    LOUD students are learning how to record original music, compose and perform song lyrics, write and perform spoken word slam style poetry, analyze current popular music and current events, create and maintain a functional recording studio, become better oral presenters, and think outside of the box.

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    WHAT THEY HAVE DONE

    For the 2010/2011 year, LOUD partnered with Hope Haven, the rape and child advocacy center of the Lowcountry, to create a series of video public service announcements entitled “I Count Too.” These PSA’s focused on abuse in teenage and same sex relationships. With generous funding from the Ms. Foundation for Women located in New York, LOUD was able to train its students in videography and video editing software. Hope Haven conducted training in violence prevention to educate our youth on the issues of gender inequity, sexual assault, rape, bullying, and bystander intervention. Through the videos, LOUD students also decided to bring awareness to inequities in South Carolina law regarding abuse in teenage dating and same sex relationships.

    During Spring Semester 2011, LOUD students from the Beaufort, SC location also received the opportunity to live it up in the Big Apple!
    Students visited Columbia University, New York University, then came down to NJ and visited Rutgers University. Students who were chosen to attend were students who earned a 3.0 GPA or higher for the last grading period. While in NYC, LOUD poetry students received the opportunity to perform at the legendary Nuyorican Poets Cafe and the Village Underground in Greenwich Village! For some of our students, this experience marked the first time they ever left Beaufort County further empowering them to do what it takes to live out their dreams!

    LOUD has had the fortunate opportunity to begin expanding our programming! Fall 2011, LOUD will operate in both Beaufort, and Ridgeland, SC. Due to our continued partnership with Hope Haven of the Lowcountry and additional funding From the Ms. Foundation for Women, both sites will work together to create a documentary entitled “The Resistance” in which students will continue to take a stand against gender inequity.  Students from Beaufort will also be trained to facilitate the Mentors in Violence Prevention curriculum for the Ridgeland site.

    Our LOUD Slam Poetry Team had the fortunate opportunity to work under HBO’s Brave New Voices slam poet Noel Scales during the Summer 2011 for a full week in which they rigorously trained their minds, strengthened their vocabularies and increased their skills for presentation. The Slam Team will prepare for the duration of the year with another visit from Ms. Scales set for November in which they will begin applying to compete on the HBO Brave New Voices Competition, July 2012.

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    To learn more about LOUD, please visit their website.