Empowering the Next Generation through Music: Sparrow Run Community Music Studio Opens its Doors
Newark, DE – Nov. 7 2023 – The dawn of a new era has arrived in Sparrow Run, Newark as the Sparrow Run Community Music Studio, funded through the "Building Better Communities" grant, ushers in a wave of creativity, opportunity, and personal growth for young people aged 12-and up in the neighborhood. This visionary project, brought to life through the joint efforts of The Travel Songs Foundation, Child, Inc., and The CAUSE, is set to become a sanctuary for artistic expression and educational enrichment.
Zachary Humenik, Executive Director of The Travel Songs Foundation and Director of Digital Media at The University of Pennsylvania recognizes the profound role of music, stating, "Music is an integral part of our society – being a musician myself, I can understand how important a creative outlet is to young people. Providing access to the means to create music is one of the goals of Travel Songs. We are very happy and proud to be a part of this project."
Tyler Holloway, Operations Director of The Travel Songs Foundation, added a personal touch to the project, saying, "This project is incredibly personal for me since it combines my passion for audio production with a community I am familiar with. Growing up in Bear, DE, I couldn't have imagined access to a facility and learning opportunity like this – I am incredibly honored to play a role in providing this studio for the next generation."
Michele Ostafy, Program Director at Child, Inc., shared the journey leading to the project's fruition, stating, "Child, Inc. is thrilled to participate in the launch of the Studio Project at the Sparrow Run Family Resource Center. Discussions for this exciting enterprise began in 2018 between Child, Inc. and the Travel Songs Foundation. Zachary Humenik, of Travel Songs was talking about the exciting youth music projects they developed outside the States, and we thought, 'Hey, why not here in our own backyard?' Fas
t forward (or… not so fast) five years, and we are looking at some very enthusiastic community youth and gifted adults ready to work together to unleash the talent, creativity, and spirit of collaboration that is the essence of great youth programming. Child, Inc. is proud of the project team and grateful to the funders that helped make the Studio Project possible."
Donna Johnson, Sparrow Run Family Resource Center Coordinator, at Child, Inc. added, "I'm excited because we are getting a program that the youth will be invested in. The kids around here have been talking about making music, and we finally have a place for them to come to work on their dreams and their goals."
Denzel Merritt, the Lead Studio Staffer, is eager to make a positive impact on the younger generation, stating, "We are looking forward to being a good influence on the generations coming up. Music speaks to all people, and it has a way of inspiring the most in someone."
Scott Michels, Executive Director of The CAUSE, recognized the power of creativity in problem-solving, noting, "All problem-solving comes from creativity – A lot of times there are not opportunities for kids to practice creativity so we need to provide them with more open space to run into walls and find out what is in those walls."
The Sparrow Run Community Music Studio is not just a place for artistic exploration; it is a comprehensive center offering music production, video projects, and podcast creation. The project also incorporates Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) courses and videography training sessions, ensuring that young participants gain essential life skills and knowledge to shape their future.
In addition to these offerings, the studio offers field trips to larger studios, providing a taste of professional environments and inspiring potential career paths in the arts and multimedia industry.
The "Building Better Communities" grant has been the catalyst for this extraordinary venture, which promises to nurture and inspire the next generation of artists, creators, and change-makers by teaching youth the skills they’ll need to succeed in the digital age. . The Sparrow Run Community Music Studio is ready to become a symbol of hope and creative exploration for the community of Sparrow Run and beyond.