Last week I was able to witness and capture amazing moments at Give & Take: An Artistic Experience, a black-owned art gallery located in downtown Baltimore. While I was just coming there for a routine witness, I heard noise in the next room. I inquired about what was going on and was told that the Beats Not Bullets summer internship program was currently in session. Luckily, I brought my camera with me because these moments are definitely worth sharing. This internship program was announced this past spring by the Damond Blue Music Group. The program offers creative space for the urban youth where they will gain various career skills and knowledge in areas such as photography, videography, and graphic design. While attending this program, the youth will have access to musical equipment as well. Baltimore hip-hop artist, Damond Blue states that the ultimate goal of this program is to “give kids access to resources and guidance on how to be successful in life.” Beats Not Bullets allows youth interns to work with career professionals to learn the ropes of entrepreneurship. Interns who complete the program will receive letters of recommendation to include with their transcripts and job applications in the future and a 500 dollar scholarship that goes toward academic or vocation improvement.
When I walked in on the session, I witnessed two interns very much in their own creative spaces. The session for the day was concluding but, we all were able to engage in conversation. I didn’t plan on staying that long until I saw how enthused the students were as Kariz Marcel and the other instructors praised them for their great work. As I sat there wishing this resource was available to me as a child, I also jumped for joy on the inside knowing that there are people out here who actually want to help our youth instead of criticizing them for their behavior caused by lack of valuable resources.