Students heal through art
This is what joy looks like
Organization actively seeking donors and partners to support the rising need in underserved communities
4C LAB’s roster of teaching artists reflects the diverse spectrum of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.”
— Darci-Manzo Piron, Co-Founder
LOS ANGELES, CA, USA, August 10, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — 4C LAB, a 501(c)3 community youth organization, is posturing for growth to bring art and healing to at-risk black, indigenous and people of color in the Los Angeles community. Their mission is to inspire positive social impact in underserved communities, by creating safe spaces for young people to share their stories through artistic expression.
Founded in 2016 by Marissa Herrera and Darci-Manzo Piron, two Latina/Native American women and “artivists” born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, each with careers in the arts spanning over two decades, 4C LAB provides arts immersion programming, led by professional teaching artists and centered around the four C’s: CREATE, COMMUNICATE, COLLABORATE, and COMMUNITY.
In Herrera’s experience working with high school and early college-aged youth, she observed that many students were starting to find their voice through the arts in high school or early college, just as many of them were aging out of no-cost public arts programming. During these years, the founders worked in systematically racist and oppressive organizations under the leadership of those who did not identify as or could not relate to the needs of Black, Indigenous & People of Color (BIPOC) and did not share power. As a result, the two Los Angeles natives envisioned an arts organization where BIPOC youth, ages 15-20, could train in the arts and for careers in the creative economy while having equity at the center of its programs, structures, community relationships, and operations.
Herrera said, “The work of 4C Lab isn’t just “art for art’s sake.” We strive to give our young creative visionaries and emerging community leaders the safe space to share their stories through the arts. We provide tools for self-care, mental health, mentorship, and support to thrive in their emerging creative careers. Ultimately, creating a sense of “family” is at the heart and soul of everything we do.”
Piron said, “4C LAB’s roster of teaching artists reflects the diverse spectrum of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. It is a team that can relate to the life experiences of the communities we serve, which allows for trust-building, deeper understanding, and a connection to the youth engaged in our programs. This creates a dynamic which yields authentic storytelling and uplifts our communities in the most profound and impactful way.”
To prepare the youth participants for success, the organization enlists a power house creative advisory board, which includes artistic advisors such as five-time Emmy Award winner, Wayne Brady, who is widely known for his work on the improvisational comedy television series Whose Line Is It Anyway? He was the host of the daytime talk show The Wayne Brady Show; Broadway actor Christopher Jackson known for performances in the original Disney’s The Lion King, After Midnight, Bronx Bombers, Holler If Ya Hear Me, and the smash Broadway hit Hamilton; Dominic Colón, an award-winning actor, writer, and director who has starred in over 60 movies and television shows, including guest appearances on Power, The Blacklist, and Orange is the New Black; OG Arabian Prince also known as Professor X, an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, and DJ, best known as a founding member of N.W.A.
The board of directors includes Mario Davila, Director of After School Programs, L.A.’s Best Afterschool Enrichment Program, which serves more than 25,000 elementary school students from under-resourced neighborhoods; Kim Belcher Morris, Director of Individual Giving, Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, which mobilizes resources to fight hunger in our communities and other highly respected community leaders who bring access to the organization and the community it serves.
The 4C LAB structure includes creative partnerships, professional development, performance ensembles and creative residencies.
4C LAB partners with organizations working at the forefront of creative practice, community healing, and empowering education for all. Through collaborations with K-12 schools, colleges, and universities, we support teaching artistry, keynote speaking, facilitation, and community-building. We develop arts education programming, present live arts and education assemblies, and facilitate staff retreats, curriculum, and professional development. Our custom-designed community programming is uniquely tailored for each partnership at the intersection of creativity and community.
4C LAB facilitators and professional development workshops are at the forefront of effective and responsive pedagogical practices supporting positive and sustainable social change. Our inclusive team creates safe, brave spaces for dialogue, disruption, and dismantling old paradigms, providing tools for schools, community, cultural and arts organizations to shift to more conscientious and culturally responsive practices that best serve our next generation of leaders. 4C LAB utilizes trauma-informed, healing-centered creative practices that lead to Transformative Social-Emotional Learning in the classroom.
Youth (ages 16-23) create original work across various art forms to create an artistic community working together to affect positive social impact. Through multi-disciplinary workshops, guest artists, and mentorships, the young creative visionaries of 4C LAB partake in story circles, personal narrative writing, dance technique, visual and multimedia art activities, which culminate in an annual live performance for families and community members, and various public events in order to spread their message of social justice awareness and advocacy through creativity and artistic storytelling.
Our professional teaching artists lead these multi-week immersive arts programs within a school, community, or arts organization. Using trauma-informed and healing-centered programming, we build an artistic ensemble through dance, poetry, and multimedia art activities, exploring themes of social justice, inclusivity, and culturally relevant storytelling. These various art forms are integrated into a final culminating performance to share with an audience. Creative Residencies support leadership development, improved mental health, and a safe space to process individual and community experiences through creativity.
Through these 4C LAB programs, the organization cultivates critical thinking skills for the youth participants to address structural and systemic injustices, and provide a platform for young people to develop leadership skills to cope, address and change these issues now and in the future.
The organization is seeking funding to expand its outreach. To learn more, donate or align with 4C LAB, please visit https://4clab.org/.
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