Most of the 11-16 year olds that walk through the door at Fresh Beats Youth Club are surviving from one day to the next.
Tough family environments, difficulties at school and temptation on every corner. Despite all these pressures, many of them have lots of creative talent, mostly in music, drawing and design. Late last year Eden Notting Barns, based in Ladbroke Grove, set up FRESH BEATS an umbrella project for all the creative arts they are connected with in and around the community. The name is inspired by the idea of a fresh start, a new direction, a different rhythm of life.
The first FRESH BEATS live event, formerly called Dream, was held at the end of August. “As well as leafleting the entire estate,” said Eden leader Jamie, “we got our young people heavily involved in advertising the event. On the days leading up to the event we went out onto the streets with a huge speaker and handed out flyers while the lads rapped. We had a variety of performers, some from the local community and a couple of guest appearances (thanks Irene & Leo). We had a mix of poets, singers and rappers.”
“The lads performed their song FOCUS and 3 of them came runners up in the ‘Lord of the mics’ competition. The highlight of the evening for me was seeing parents come and watch their child perform. I loved clapping and cheering for them and actually felt proud of what they had achieved.
Another great example of FRESH BEATS in action is our t-shirt project. A few of the young lads started drawing on a Wednesday night and we wanted to offer them a way they could show off their work and hopefully make some money in the process. We set up a small online shop selling their drawings on T-shirts, hoodies, mugs and bags, all items for sale to the general public. As soon as the site is launched we will let you know! The designs are excellent, varying from manga style warriors to urban legends and cool logos.
FRESH BEATS is coming to a T-shirt near you soon! Please pray for the young people, for creativity, drive, joy and vision at the beginning of this exciting adventure with God through Urban Arts. Please thank God for the provision of money to buy recording equipment. For more information about FRESH BEATS or the Ladbroke Grove Eden team (it’s new name from Jan 2014), please contact Jamie on: Jamie.Sewell@eden-network.org