The Music Survival Project pilot project was a huge hit this summer and has new fan base in Colorado. The Cottonwood Institute, The Slam Movement, and Arapahoe/Douglas Works! Youth in the Works collaborated to bring a passionate group of students to the mountains for a week to practice survival skills, enjoy nature, create music and art together, and explore a career in the music industry.
The music community in Colorado was eager to lend their support by coming up and sharing their knowledge, wisdom, and experience about how to get started in the music industry. They also jumped in with a little freestyle slam poetry jam session as well. Participants heard from guest speakers about Intellectual property rights in music and art, met with professional musicians and producers, and collaborated with professionals in branding and marketing and created art and music of their own.
As part of the project, students also completed environmental service projects, including erosion mitigation. All participants gained valuable service experience and strengthened their work ethic to better prepare for transition into the full-time working world.
According to Darren Silver, one of the Cottonwood Institute instructors on the course, “one of the qualities of the Music Survival Project was the productive movement of creativity into poetic, hip-hop, artistic, and musical pieces. The confidence built within the students from this and the guest speakers, which brought the map to how to succeed as artist, inspired the students and gave them the necessary tools. The fact that the course took place in the wilderness further engaged the students into taking steps into the unknown. The safety of practicing a rhyme in a quiet place in the woods, then sharing it with a group that was doing just the same, for that week, created a community of artists supporting one another in creative expression. As an instructor, I am still in awe and respect for the incredible amount of talent the teens shared, and also, the joy of witnessing them walk away from the course, saying, ‘I know how to pursue my dreams as an artist.'”
Cottonwood, Arapahoe/Douglas! Youth in the Works & The Slam Movement would like to give special thanks to the Cal-Wood Environmental Education Center for hosting us at their beautiful 1,200 acre site, to Jessica Newman and Bernard for sharing their freestyle and slam poetry talents, to Dave Navarro from the Blazen Creative Group for sharing his knowledge of marketing, branding, and promotion, and to David Ratner from Replin, Rhoades, & Roper, LLC, for enlightening the group about entertainment law and intellectual property issues in the music industry. Finally, we would like to thank our wonderful Cottonwood Institute and Slam Movement instructors who provided excellent instruction and leadership throughout the week. We can’t wait to do it again next year!
This article was written by Robert Baronas and edited by Ford Church.