Since 2005, YASP has been going into Philadelphia’s adult jails and working with young people to help shape a space to express themselves through art, writing and poetry.
YASP’s workshops are not just a place to make artwork but they also serve as a way to foster relationships with young people, helping with re-entry support to keep kids from coming back to jail. Our in-person workshops can help to ensure that young people have this workshop to look forward to each week.
We know these workshops are important to the wellbeing of our participants and recognize the increased importance of programs like these to continue especially as the pandemic lingers on and the young people we work with are more isolated than ever.
Ascension is an 8-12 week music workshop in partnership with DayOneNotDayTwo that focuses on culturally conscious songwriting. The program consists of 2 sessions per week: Mondays 6:30-8:30 at YASP Office (924 Cherry Street) and Thursdays 6:30-8:30 at Civic Power Studio (2512 N Alder Street). All participants will be compensated for their time.
The purpose of the Ascension course is to combat gun violence by transforming the culture of Hip-Hop through training local artists to promote socially responsible messages within the community.
Gun violence, an epidemic running rampant through the streets of Philadelphia, cripples the hearts of the victims’ families and the wallets of the entire community. Much of the violence that we hear about today is actually a result of displaced aggression caused by a dissonance within the self concept. With 7000 students dropping out of school by the end of 2022, the city needs a long term solution to the destruction and disillusionment that has plagued its communities for so many years.
In 2021 alone Philadelphia taxpayers spent $131 million on gun fatalities. At a fraction of the cost the Ascension program will save taxpayers $6 million in its first year of implementation and give disparaged communities much needed reprieve as they grieve the loss of their loved ones.
Ascension is a three phase program designed to train artists to create intellectual assets that promote productivity and empowerment within the community. Each phase of the program represents a different stage of mastery. Ascension training consists of 18 sessions over a period of 12 weeks (2 sessions per week). Each session will focus on one of the 9 steps of ascension.