Music and Arts Academy

The Let Hope Rise Foundation recognizes that too often the artistic gifts of young people go unappreciated, undeveloped and underutilized. School systems have dropped music, theater and arts classes to save money and increase time for basic classroom academics. They fail to see the vital connection between the arts and learning.

The Foundation recognizes that music and arts help students blossom. Creative outlets will keep them engaged, focused, encouraged and safe. Some will find their life’s vocation if exposed to those avenues early.

So the Foundation will sponsor a music and arts academy, developed through partnerships with area schools, churches and neighborhood groups to expose students to caring, talented teachers, state of the art technology, and high quality programming. The vision is to equip students with the skill set to perform and the mindset to succeed in life.

The HopePlex offers space, so the only cost is personnel and equipment.

The academy will solicit recommendations for the most eager, brightest and creative students. Disadvantaged kids will be included in that mix because minority families tend to see the value of arts almost on equal footing with academics – opposite sides of the same coin.

The HopePlex houses one of the most technologically advanced theater spaces in the entire region. Because the church that meets there is committed to music, theater and arts as elements of creative worship, the stage, computerized sound, lighting and projection systems in the HopePlex are among the finest anywhere.

In fact, it recently benefited from a demo installation of the newest Meyer Audio surround sound system and concert array being installed in movie theaters around the country to handle the dramatic sound volumes and vibes of modern digitally enhanced movies.

A 40-foot-wide background projection screen becomes an instantly changeable set for drama productions. Students learn to design sets on the computer, operate sound and light systems, edit video and produce dramatic performances.

Seating can be arranged from an intimate 400-seat black box theater, to an expansive 1,700-person grand cinema.

The HopePlex can become an arts oasis in a cultural desert between there and center city Charlotte. Ideally, a selective, competitive music ensemble of an undetermined size will emerge. In kind of a “Harlem Boys Choir meets Bad News Bears” scenario, children who society has shunted to the side will be given opportunity to explore their creative potential and succeed at the highest level.

The teaching vehicle of musical theater requires the disciplines of every area: singing, dancing, instrumentation, acting, design for graphics, sound and sets, video production, web design and lighting. The availability of great teachers will make the music and arts academy a destination goal for talented youth in from across southwest Charlotte. 

The academy will be inaugurated with a summer session in 2017, providing the first cohort of students with their exposure to life possibilities through art, music and theater.