We envision a world where Hip Hop is embraced as an integral tool in educational, clinical, and therapeutic settings to unlock the proven benefits of creative self-expression.
We develop inclusive, accessible arts education rooted in Hip Hop culture. Through our programming, clinical research, and professional development, we champion Hip Hop as a dynamic tool in improving physical and mental wellbeing.
HOW WE WORK
We offer arts education programs rooted in Hip Hop culture to youth in under-resourced communities and to people with disabilities.
Belonging & Inclusion
Life Skill Development
Training & Tools
Belonging & Inclusion
Life Skill Development
WHO WE ARE
We are BEAT. Bridging Education & Art Together.
In the service of the Hip Hop principle of “Each One, Teach One”—BEAT’s original mission, established in 2009, was to preserve authentic Hip Hop culture and to teach young people how to leverage Hip Hop and creative self-expression to give them the tools to better advocate for themselves and their needs. BEAT quickly became a leader in New York City schools providing quality arts based education rooted in Hip Hop.
After a decade of programming in public schools, libraries, therapeutic settings, hospitals, and even refugee camps, BEAT’s instructors began to realize the utility of Hip Hop went well beyond self-advocacy. They watched as participants flourished—especially people with disabilities and youth in under-resourced communities. They saw Hip Hop as an effective pedagogical and therapeutic approach for improving health and wellness outcomes in the communities BEAT served.
While this was an unintended consequence, BEAT decided to follow the evidence and ask why this was happening. Why were participants seeing such incredible benefits from Hip Hop? Was it something specific about Hip Hop that produced these outcomes?
In 2017, BEAT began partnering with clinical researchers to answer that very question. They began investigating what about beatboxing led to better speech development in young people with speech and communication difficulties. Since that time, BEAT has developed additional partnerships with clinical researchers to investigate other realms of Hip Hop and its impact on health and wellness. Through this research, BEAT seeks to understand and optimize the power of Hip Hop as a pathway to improving health and healing.
In 2020, BEAT began seeking accreditations to provide continuing education courses based on the outcomes of its clinical research to teach professionals how to leverage Hip Hop’s proven benefits in educational, clinical, and therapeutic settings. The goal of these programs is to teach clinicians, educators, and caregivers how to incorporate Hip Hop into therapeutic and wellness settings.
Today, BEAT champions Hip Hop as a dynamic tool in improving physical and mental wellbeing. BEAT accomplishes this mission through a three-pronged “program tunnel”. BEAT offers arts education programs rooted in Hip Hop culture to youth in under-resourced communities and to people with disabilities. Informed by observations of its programs, BEAT conducts clinical research on the efficacy of Hip Hop as a pathway to physical and mental wellbeing. Based on this research, BEAT trains professionals across industries to use Hip Hop as a tool to advance clinical and health practices.
James Kim is the founder and Executive Director of BEAT, a nonprofit based in NYC dedicated to providing unique music and dance based educational programs to underserved youths and people with special needs. The mission of BEAT is to transform lives through creative self-expression rooted in Hip Hop culture.
Brittany Wilson is a Queens native who began her training at the Edge School of the Arts. She identifies as a dancer, teacher, choreographer, arts administrator, artistic director and funder. She is currently the Program Director at Bridging Education & Art Together, where she works full-time to manage their arts education program.
Lulu is a theatre artist, arts educator, Hip Hop lover, and activist. She is committed to supporting radically transformative, equitable spaces in which all belong.
Luiggi is a 23 year old Latin-x Emcee from Inwood Manhattan. In addition to being the Outreach Coordinator, he is also an alumni of the BEAT Explorers program. He enjoys working towards creating opportunities and experiences for current and future Alumni as well.
Aileen Leon-Echeverria, programming assistant at BEAT, is from South Florida by way of Mexico. Previously, she worked as an intern for BEAT as well as a production assistant for the Veronica Robles Cultural Center. Aileen graduated from Boston Conservatory at Berklee with a BFA in Contemporary Dance Performance in 2020.
DISABILITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE
For the last 10 years, BEAT has engaged people with disabilities in the art of beatboxing. The access and inclusion we provide though our BEAT Rockers program has influenced nearly every move that BEAT has made as an organization, such as:
- Ongoing development of Alphabeat, which uses beatboxing as a speech therapy practice tool
- Launching a research study to determine the efficacy of beatboxing as a speech therapy intervention for children with Down Syndrome
- Commitment to make inclusion- and access-informed decisions at every level
We can do so much more. Our Disability Advisory Committee, made up of self-advocates and allies, has been created to ensure that we do it right. These initiatives include:
- Developing inclusive hiring and Board recruitment practices
- Expanding all of our programming to be accessible for youth with disabilities
If you are a self-advocate or committed ally, we would love to invite you to join our Disability Advisory Committee. Your opinion will guide how we approach these initiatives from planning through completion. Will you join us?
Please email Lulu Fogarty for more information.