About 6 years ago I met a Prophetess at a church in central Phoenix. Now, I am not religious BUT when I heard there would be prophets speaking to people I was really curious on what they would say to me. At the time I was working with youth at the time and was feeling very conflicted inside as to whether to pursue a career in youth development or in fine art.
I had never seen or spoken to this woman in my life. I will never forget walking up to her that night. It was like the Universe had something to tell me and she was its voice. She grabbed my hand and instantly closed her eyes and made a face that looked as if she was overwhelmed with thoughts that hit her all at once. She began to speak:
"I see you with a paintbrush in your hand. I see you making beautiful art. I see you at the First Friday Art Walk displaying and painting in the city. Your hands are like swords that God has been sharpening. He has been preparing you for battle. I also see you working with the youth. I see you bringing your art into places like group homes and inspiring teen girls to chase their dreams. Your gifts were given to you so that you could lead people to God through them."
I was in TEARS. It was no wonder I had been conflicted for years as to whether or not I would work with youth or art. I was supposed to be doing BOTH. So, 6 years later I am proud to say that all of what she prophesied and more has come into fruition into my life. I have been mentoring and teaching art/ music to teens for the past few years. I don't talk much about my programs because I don't feel the need for public validation but I felt it was important to share this story because of some very special teens I work with.
I decided at the end of 2016 (after years of wanting to) to launch the J.A.R.R. Initiative. Through this initiative I bring free high quality arts programs into communities who need it most. So far I have been able to run an extremely successful music program as well as a new fine art program. Currently I have a group of roughly 15 teens who I mentor who mean the world to me. They are the highlight of my week and they constantly remind me what life is about- love and family! All of my teens will be helping me at my last art show of the year this Saturday, Sept. 16th from 6-10P at Dionne's Wall of Flowers. The show is all ages and is only $10 at the door!
Shoreigh Williams (17) will be showcasing a small collection of original art work and selling her merchandise at the show as my guest artist. I have been working with her to get her business together for the past few months and this girl is going to be a force to be reckoned with! She has so much hunger and drive that I couldn't help but take her under my wing. Amir Billings (18) has been a part of my Lyricism 101 class for the past year. He is a lyricist and will be preforming a couple spoken word pieces at my show. His talent is undeniable and his star power is evident every time he preforms.
These are just two of my many amazing teens who I have chosen to spotlight for this go-round. We have showcases planned for both music and visual arts for the teens in the near future. So, be on the lookout and come and support these young artists this Saturday!