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The official publication of

Spring 2017

ART SPLASH 1 5 T H A N N I V E R S A R Y

B A N Q U E T


Moves & Grooves, Inc. Recognizes

Trailblazers Delphine Oliver , who was initially introduced to Moves & Grooves through her daughter Lianna, was the first official board chair member of Moves and Grooves. Not only did Mrs. Oliver give of her time, talents and treasures through HCA, she also gave of her heart long after her term with the company was complete. We are forever grateful for her seed and continued support of Moves & Grooves.

Jonathan L. Wright. The first Assistant Director and cofounder of Moves & Grooves during the agency's inception in 2002. Jonathan helped Emerald secure donations to make it possible to run the first Moves & Grooves camp at Fisk University. He served not only as assistant director, but photographer, script writer, grant writer and designer for the first MAG Clothing online store that debut inside local magazines and fashion shows including the Tennessee State University Homecoming in 2004. Tony Hopson Sr. is the founder of Self Enhancement Inc, in Portland Oregon. Self Enhancement was the divine agency that cultivated leadership and service into the young Emerald Armstrong at the

age of 7. The guidance and support provided by Tony Hopson Sr. helped Emerald register Moves & Grooves as an official 501c(3) nonprofit entity. Tony continues to pour wisdom into the Moves and Grooves team to help the agency achieve lasting success and measurable results like Self Enhancement Incorporated has done for over 30 years.

Kifah Fluker is the glue that holds the Moves & Grooves agency together. Kifah knows the vision of Moves & Grooves as she too was a beneficiary of the instrumental program, Self Enhancement Incorporated that Emerald mimics through Moves & Grooves. Kifah also served as program director, nutrition coordinator, and secretary during the first Moves & Grooves summer camp in 2002. She continues to provide strategic support, guidance and training to new staff and volunteers as the agency's current Human Resource Manager. Britney Taylor is the current Moves & Grooves Program Director. Britney was significant in keeping the love of dance alive inside the Moves & Grooves studio. Under Britney's direction, she and her team trained over 85 students and created a stellar competition dance team that went on to receive 27 regional and 7 first Place National Dance titles in the State of Florida and Virginia.

Other instrumental supporters of Moves & Grooves were Donald Phillips, Kendra Taylor, Tiffany Freeman, Denise McBride, Marlisa Appleton, Ashley Mushamba, Christian Henry, Thadijah Burks, Deitrick Mitchell, Jonathan Edwards, Desmond Jordan, Kenya Fulton, Marva Bicknell, Angie Adams, Robin Beavers, Aiesha Walker, Stephanie Williams, Brandon Curry, Londyn Lavallais, Linda Howard, Laura Nichols, Cathy Gleaves, Kamellah Fluker, and a host of principals, volunteers, previous employees, parents, community sponsors, family, friends and most importantly my students. THANK YOU!

Thank You!


Letter From the Executive Director

Dr. Emerald Mitchell

elcome family friends and community supporters. We are elated that you have come to celebrate 15 years of service to Nashville with us. As we reflect on the past decade, we could not be more proud of the strides we've made. From our humble beginnings in North Nashville, to serving over 250 students across Middle Tennessee, we know that we would not have been able to do this without the unwavering support of parents, students and the greater Nashville community. Thank you! As we prepare for our next stage of growth, the next three to five years will be focused on:

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Networking Building Strong Relationships with communities, schools, parents and stakeholders to create a web of support, remaining active and progressive toward meeting the needs of our community; telling our stories through new and innovative marketing strategies to garner support and positive recognition. Improving Academics Adopting best practices in the area of reading literacy and STEM so that each student enrolled in a Moves and Grooves, Inc. program, is equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to be competitive in both college and careers. Education Creating opportunities for outreach by promoting education in the area of arts, wellness, financial literacy, and youth employment.

Agency History When you mention Moves and Grooves celebrating 15 years, most don't realize from where we've actually come. Moves and Grooves actually started through a homework assignment during my senior school year at Jefferson High School. I was asked to create a business plan and Moves & Grooves, a facility that provided dance for youth was my inspiration. he idea flourished once I arrived to Nashville, Tennessee and attended Fisk University in the summer of 2000. I enrolled in and began volunteering to teach at the Watkins Park Community Center in North Nashville serving the kids of John Henry Hale public housing. Within days, my class of 5 turned into 50.

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Working with a community in such high poverty reminded me about my childhood growing up as an innercity youth in Portland Oregon. There was a nonprofit

agency called Self Enhancement Incorporated that took me in, provided mentoring, academic support, and became a second family for me. I wanted to give my students the same opportunity that was afforded to me – a chance to experience the options of life and be surrounded by caring adults who could be supportive along the way. Today, Moves and Grooves, Inc. services over 250 students inside five Metro Nashville Public Schools, offering community outreach, mentoring, free afterschool programming, dance training, summer camps, and even youth employment opportunities for high school students. Over the past decade, Moves and Grooves, Inc. has crowned the first Miss Tennessee teen USA; a Tennessee State University football player; an All-State AllCity track and field athlete; a triple platinum competition dancer; UT student president of diversity; and, an international missionary who has traveled to Africa, China and is now in Morocco spreading the love of Christ and giving back through leadership, education and service. For me, knowing that Moves and Grooves, Inc. has helped to guide a trajectory of success for these young people and so many others, confirms why Moves and Grooves, Inc. remains second to none in producing positive, lasting outcomes for youth in Middle Tennessee.


Student Success Stories As I'm sure you would imagine, in 15 years, we must have an array of student success stories that we could share; and, to be honest, we do. However, we will take this time to highlight only a few students who have gone above and beyond our expectations in college, careers and in the community, since being a participant of the Moves & Grooves program. Kanellar Carney, at the age of 9, began as 1 of 12 students who participated during the very first Moves & Grooves summer camp in 2002 inside the Richardson House of Fisk University. Kanellar participated in the Moves and Grooves Summer camp as a child, consistently being involved in several plays, community service projects and dance performances, until entering high school at East Literature High school. While at East Lit-

erature High School, Kanellar developed a strong interest in track and field. She went on to receive record-breaking honors in track and field including a three-time national championship, five state titles and a five-time All-American recipient in hurdle and high jump in 2011 and 2012. Kanellar uses her talents to give back to other young athletes as she was recently promoted to the position of Assistant Coach of Track and Field at Pope John Paul II High School in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Shanese Brown may not look like she ever lacked a sense of self confidence. However, in June 2010 when Shanese joined the Ladies of Purpose summer mentoring program, she would have rather read a book in a corner, than ever to have graced the stage in front of an audience. During the seven weeks that Shanese participated in the Ladies of Purpose summer camp, she began to identify new aspects of herself. Ladies of Purpose


was designed to teach confidence and the importance of giving back. Each year, the program highlighted a pageant in which all students participated in to help them develop their self-esteem, public speaking abilities and highlight what character means to them. Shanese totally embraced this process even though it challenged her to step out of her comfort zone. Shanese received a pageant scholarship for professional training during the Fall and in 2012, Shanese Brown was crowned Miss Tennessee Teen USA. Shanese is now a student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she is studying Communications and Architectural Design. Jasmine Blackburn is a little firecracker who enrolled into the Moves & Grooves Arts Camp in the summer of 2008. Jasmine loved to dance and perform. She showed promise very early even as a 4th grader at Carter Lawrence Elementary School. Jasmine took the lead in many of the Moves and Grooves, Inc. Summer musicals including the Princess and the Frog, Dream Girl's and Hairspray. Jasmine was a member of the Moves and Grooves, Inc. first competition dance team that went on to receive firstplace honors at MTSU Starpower dance competition in 2014. Since being enrolled at Nashville School of the Arts, Jasmine continues to pursue her dream to become professional dancer and trains with Nashville's top instructors. She now

travels throughout the country to dance in national competitions. Morgan Matthews is a fifth grade student at Thurgood Marshall Middle School. Since transferring to Nashville from Chicago, Morgan struggle to find her sense of belonging in a new community. She signed up for the Moves and Grooves, Inc. program in the Fall of 2016 and has blossomed ever since. Recently, Morgan received accolades from her school by winning the Martin Luther King, Jr. schoolwide poetry contest. The same year, Morgan received Principal’s List academic honors for two consecutive quarters. Both students and teachers alike adore Morgan for her outgoing personality and humble spirit. We are excited to have her again as a member of Moves and Grooves, Inc. and look forward to her success in the future. Elizabeth Vung is a proud Asian-American and Moves and Grooves, Inc. graduate of Croft Middle School. She enrolled in the program during her 5thgrade year when a close relative who was also a student in the Moves and Grooves, Inc. program spoke highly of her experience. During her first few weeks, Elizabeth struggled to get comfortable and communicate openly with students and staff. However, after a


month into the program, Elizabeth found her voice through hip hop dance.

Elizabeth has not only performed for Moves and Grooves, Inc. families during showcase season, but has also performed in the Tennessee State University homecoming parade, the Vanderbilt halftime basketball show and has even traveled to Dallas, Texas with Moves and Grooves, Inc. for Girlstart STEM convention. Elizabeth remains on top academically and has found an outlet to connect with those around her. As a freshman at Overton High, Elizabeth returns to volunteer at Moves and Grooves, Inc. to help other Asian- Americans connect through dance. Aaliyah Nichols is currently preparing for graduation from the University of Memphis in May 2017. However when Aaliyah enrolled into the moves and grooves ladies of purpose program 2012 she was unsure of what her future would be. Aaliyah came from a single-parent home where her mother worked hard to provide a safe environment and enriching opportunities for Aaliyah to grow.

Aaliyah struggled with self-confidence issues and quickly won over the hearts of several staff members through her tenacious spirit to learn and to be the best at everything she set her mind to. During her summer with Ladies of Purpose Aaliyah developed a passion for service through volunteering with the Ladies of Purpose team Aliyah experience an unequivocal call to pursue Mission work. In the past year, Aaliyah has traveled to Africa, China and is now in Morocco spreading the love of Christ embodying the Moves and Grooves standard to render service to those in need.

“A few students who have gone above and beyond our expectations in college, careers and in the community.�


Summer Shack Summer Shack

In early 2005, a young girl sat in the middle of her 5th grade class waiting for something to happen.

She'd recently joined an after school program to keep herself busy and to calm or at least quiet the stresses at home, even if for a moment. Summer Shack was an easy-going young lady. Friendly and somewhat popular at school. However, it was after the school bell rang that the reality of life truly set in.

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ummer's home life would be considered by most as unstable. As one parent battled incarceration, the other struggled with addiction. This constant bout made Summer question her own existence and what type of chance she'd actually have at a better life. Summer, was one of six children in the household. She was a smart girl, often making the honor roll, but deep down there was something unsettling. Although there was a lot of love at home, there was also alot of dysfunction. Summer had to grow up earlier than most 11 year olds. She was responsible for taking care of her younger siblings as money and resources were often scarce for the family. Nonetheless, Summer found comfort in being a part of the Moves and Grooves afterschool program, which taught dance inside her school and was free. Summer established a close relationship with her first site coordinator, Dr. Emerald Mitchell. Dr. Mitchell, who had recently founded Moves & Grooves just a few years before, connected with Summer, because of her resiliency and her tenacious spirit to want more for her life despite her circumstances. Dr. Mitchell could relate to that driven spirit as it reminded her of some of the realities she faced while growing up in the inner- city of North Portland, Oregon. One day, when asked what she wanted to be in life, Summer replied, "I just don't want to be a teen mom." Summer's older sister had recently become a young mother while still in high school, which caused her plans for college to come to an abrupt halt. Her sister focused on be-

ing a young mom. Emerald could tell this incident had an effect on young Summer as she often looked up to her older sisters for advice and guidance.

In that moment, Dr. Mitchell felt a sudden urge to begin investing more time with Summer, to help fill the gap where Summer needed support and positive motivation. From visits to her family's home on weekends, to going shopping for new shoes when the old ones got worn out, Dr. Mitchell established a bond as not only being an afterschool teacher, but also one as a big sister, mentor and friend. Over 11 years later, Summer Shack has blossomed into a beautiful flower. Not only did she reach her goal of not becoming a teen parent, but in 2013, Summer graduated from Statford High School and received a full-ride scholarship to attend Belmont University. Summer is currently studying Theater with a Minor in Dance. She will be graduating from Belmont University in Spring 2017. Summer is excited to be the first in her family to attend college and graduate from a four year university. She remains committed to the values that Moves & Grooves imparted to her as a child and she can be seen throughout her community giving-back through arts, education and service.


Moves Toward Reading Literacy On Monday, August 22, Moves & Grooves, Inc. set out to change the idea of what “cool� looks like for elementary school students at Smith Springs Elementary School. ypically, the perception of young people when it comes to Reading means being a nerd and wearing glasses and a shirt that's button to the top. However, by partnering with Belmont University's iSERVE Day and Reading Is Fundamental, Moves and Grooves brought college kids out with their dimly shaded sunglasses to help our elementary students realize, that COOL KIDS READ and moreover, college kids read too!

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Belmont University sent approximately 40 university freshmen, equipped with their Belmont t-shirt and tennis shoes to read aloud to more than 300 students in grades K-4 at Smith Springs Elementary School.

Cool Kids Read

Thanks to the support of Smith Springs head Principal Dr. Lance Forman and the amazing Smith Springs Elementary School staff, each student was able to receive a book to take home and add to their home library. The Cool Kids Read event was a huge success, thanks to our community partners, schools, and amazing Metro students. Moves & Grooves hopes to continue the Cool Kids Read project for years to come. Our goal is to help develop students who are more confident in their reading skills and can look at "reading" through a whole new set of lenses.

Moves & Grooves "Cool Kids Read" Elementary Reading Initiative with Smith Springs Elementary School September 2016.


100 Student Authors According to the 2016 Metro Nashville Report Card, 64% of 4th grade students left elementary school reading at only Basic and Below Basic levels. fter learning about this issue, the Moves & Grooves team jumped into action, being proactive against this alarming reality by beginning the 100 Student Authors Project.

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The 100 Student Authors Project was a fourmonth activity where students researched various topics, created their own poems, illustrated their own work, and published their very first book. These books were edited, reviewed, and presented in hard copy form on December 2nd. At the Meet The Authors Student Exhibit, over 100 students gathered in the downtown Nashville Public Library equipped with their tri-fold boards freshly published books and their Sunday's best to present their work for the world. Guests walked from station to station interviewing students about their book and the process of writing for the first time. Dur-

ing the author's chair segment, students from each School were selected to read a poem aloud before the entire audience. A post survey distributed to students and families at the conclusion of the event revealed that 82% of students increased their vocabulary in reading and writing, 79% learned a new style of writing, and 94% agreed that they would write and read more as a result of participating in this activity.


Arts & Politics The function of the artist in a disturbed society is to give awareness of the universe, to ask the right questions, and to elevate the mind.� (Marina Abramovic, b. 1946) With the change in government views and politics the emphasis on arts and student achievement grows with concern.

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ver the years, Moves & Grooves has been fortunate to received over 80% of our funding from government state and local entities. So when the Student Collaborative of Reform Education, better known as S.C.O.R.E., emphasized the need on Capitol Hill, Moves and Grooves Executive Director Emerald Mitchell was elated to oblige. Dr. Mitchell along with the Nashville Chamber of Commerce and several hundreds of community Education advocates marched on two legislative Plaza to

speak two cinders across the state about the importance of arts and supporting academic achievement for all Tennessee students. This opportunity was met with great support from the Tennessee legislative branch which helped to make our job a bit easier. However we have learned bat Eden government not all things can be certain so moves and grooves has been proactive in developing relationships with local legislative senators Council men and women to ensure that the Arts continue to be supported and that equal opportunities for education remain available to all students in Middle Tennessee.

Relay for Arts Jog-a-thon Relay for Arts is a school-wide jog-a-thon design to promote the Arts and awareness against childhood obesity this event has been successful for the past 4 years inside three Metro Nashville Public Schools. Each year, our friends at HCA have help to bring there's sweat Equity enthusiasm and energy to ensure that this event remain successful. Since the Inception of the first Relay for Arts initiative Carter Lawrence Elementary School in 2013 the Moves & Grooves Relay for Arts event has served more than 3028 students, 76 teachers, recruited 54 volunteers, raised $1,258 for school arts and fitness equipment and brought over 32 addi-

tional hours of fitness and nutrition activities into MNPS schools to promote health and wellness options that can last a lifetime. Pictured here, HCA volunteers assist Moves & Grooves with Relay For Arts at Thurgood Marshall Middle School.


Space, Infinity and Beyond In the spirit of creating a strong spark and interest in STEM or Science, Technology, Engineering and Math related fields, Moves & Grooves decided to reach out of space. ntroducing students to new ideas in science engineering and space, like the renowned mathmatician, Katherine Johnson. Spring 2015, the Moves & Grooves program headed to Birmingham, Alabama to visit the US Space and Rocket Center. The U.S. Space & Rocket Center (USSRC) is the official NASA Visitor Information Center for the Marshall Space Flight Center. The USSRC is also home to the Space Camp and Aviation Challenge Camp and Robotics Camp programs for students ages 7-18.

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Like the television stars in the award- winning Hidden Figures film, Moves & Grooves hopes to contribute to the next wave of aerospace engineers, mathematicians and inventors of the 21st century. The Hidden Figures movie inspired young girls across the world to look inside themselves and experience who they could truly be. Moves & Grooves took that movie a step further by giving our students an oppor-

tunity to visit a real NASA Space Center and research program. This trip was one giant leap toward preparing our students to think outside the box to experience what NASA research and rocket science is all about. 45 Moves & Grooves students spent one full-day at the space center. Students worked in teams to create a parachute, stepped aboard a real Space Capsule, observed the stars and galaxies through telescope lens ate lunch in the space dining hall and spoke one-on-one with residents that will be preparing for a launch in the NASA Space Program. Students left the Space Center with a new sense of pride, knowledge and new respect for those who work in space engineering. Students were inspired by the space stories and how Americans risk their lives in pursuit of space, discovery and creating new ways of helping to further math and science and education for all Americans.


Texas, Washington DC to New York City!! As a non-profit agency serving disadvantaged youth, the opportunity to expose youth to college and career is essential to us. e believe that giving students the opportunity to visit and experience the College culture they will feel connected and actually visualize themselves as being a student there. In 2015 with the help of the Tennessee Department of Education Moves & Grooves took 12 students to the Big Apple! The group chartered a plane and spent five days visiting Manhattan, walking the campus of New York University, shopping in

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Time Square, visiting Wall Street, Juilliard and several colleges and landmarks. The students experienced riding a double-decker bus for the first time, strolling through Central Park, visiting the Statue of Liberty, taking pictures with the new Freedom Towers and even taking dance classes at the prestigious Alvin Ailey Dance Studio. Austin Texas Research shows a huge disparity between women who pursue STEM careers and their male counterparts. However, in Moves & Grooves we know that there are several future scientists, engineers and inventors that walk into our


classroom each day. To inspire our young women to pursue careers in STEM, we selected 7 young ladies who scored proficient or advanced in the area of math and science to attend the 2016 Girlstart conference in Austin, Texas. The ladies traveled by plane and were met with open arms to over 3,000 girls across the country who also enjoyed math and science. Throughout the 8- hour Workshop, students work alongside renowned female scientist and engineers from Harvard, Silicon Valley, local engineering plants and various other STEM professions across the country. Students receive hands-on experience working in archaeology, coding and even creating contraptions with engineering teams using PVC pipes, wires and hoola-hoops.

Washington DC Just before the first African American president, Barack Obama stepped down from office, Moves & Grooves stepped on the lawn of the White House. As a Spring Break highlight, Moves & Grooves took

eight students on a college tour to Washington DC. Along the way, we visited Bowie State University, Howard University, Georgetown University, Johnson C. Smith University, Rutgers University, University of Maryland and traveled the beautiful East coast. This was truly an experience to remember for everyone.

Throughout the 8- hour Workshop, students work alongside renowned female scientist and engineers from Harvard, Silicon Valley, local engineering plants and various other STEM professions across the country.


$50,000-$100,000 Nashville After Zone Alliance (NAZA) Tennessee Department of Education $10,000-$20,000 Metro Development and Housing Agency Metro Arts Commission $1,000-$10,000 Delphene B. Oliver

$150-$500 Christopher Weston Dr. Stacey Godley Matthews Family HCA Foundation Robin Beavers Dr. George C. Hill Vanderbilt University Jesus is the Answer Church 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee, Inc. Jessica Petty Family Sonya Johnson Claudia Black Belinda Grigsby Jennifer Lewis Gene R. Thompson Dr. Marc Watkins

$25-$100 Kortni Green Catherine Hasty GROW Golfers Recognizing Opportunities For Women Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. iStep Mary Brugh Weber Karla Kirkpatrick Dr. Ruthie Reynolds Racquel Peebles Attorney At Law Dorothy C. Cobbett Lisa Blackmon

Thadijah Burks Afterschool Site Coordinator at Croft Middle School

Support Staff Christian Henry Kez Tabelisma Christian Fulp Carlo Quintennilia Arah Hans-Majors

THANK YOU

Moves & Grooves, Inc. Staff Dr. Emerald Mitchell Executive Director Britney Taylor Program Director Kifah Fluker Human Resource Manager

Shandra West Afterschool Site Coordinator at Apollo Middle School Brittney Neely Afterschool Site Coordinator at Smith Springs Elementary School

Executive Board Members Colette Dwyer - Chair HCA Healthcare Corp. of Amer.

Debra Edwards Realtracs Realty

Dr. Michael Thompson Michael David Media

Elisabeth Small Belmont University

Advisory Board Members Angie Adams PENCIL Foundation

Verlinda Darden Nashville Chamber of Commerce

Herman Hicks First Tennessee Bank

Laura Nichols Metro Nashville Public Schools


Moves & Grooves 15th Anniversary

ART SPLASH March 11th, 2017 Noah Liff Opera Center 5:30-8:00pm Hosted By Katara Grissom, Miss Black Tennessee of 2013 Live Entertainment Welcome Opening Performance Cocktails & Meet and Greet Dance Performance Dinner Song Performance Guest Speaker Dr. Ming Wang Step Performance Special Presentations Awards & Silent Auction Winners Closing Remarks Student Finale


Profile for Michael Thompson

Art Splash -- Spring 2017  

The official publication of Moves & Grooves, Inc.

Art Splash -- Spring 2017  

The official publication of Moves & Grooves, Inc.

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