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A new remedy for ADD, ADHD, and apathy

Emotionz and DJ Stylust speak with the Early Risers at B.O.B. (photo by Trish Meow)

Most cultural progress is led by people who disobey societal norms. In order to thrive in school, you have to obey, memorize and regurgitate.

If students speak out of turn or express themselves creatively without permission, they are considered disobedient. The process of cultivating obedience is useful for organizing swarms of kids. But, obedience is often achieved at the cost of scuffed up creativity.

Young minds have the right to question what society tells them to be. At Early Risers, we discussed the difference between being innovative and being disrespectful. It is valuable for youth to challenge ideas, but disrespect is never productive. Throughout our classes, we made shirts at BLIM featuring their individual Art. We also held creative business education discussions led by local artists and entrepreneurs at B.O.B. (building opportunities with business).

                                making shirts at BLIM (photo by Trish Meow)

If we provide more mediums for youth and more opportunities for expression, we can alleviate destructive behaviour....which is most often a manifestation of being unheard. 

                  planning a t-shirt design at BLIM (photo by Trish Meow)

Too often, academic institutions stifle cultural innovation. Today, outside the walls of academia, new media has added a new dimension to modern culture. Kids live their lives online. Simultaneously, innovative artists are building careers through new media.

It is useful to bring young minds and innovative artists together and create conversations in real life. 

Collectively, the kids in Early Risers helped me select our guest speakers. They chose EMOTIONZ, SNAK, EVIL EBENEZER and WERD. All of the artists are self-made. They don't rely on corporations or big record labels. They hustle on-line and engage audiences through multiple forms of media. Some of the innovation created by these artists is controversial and perhaps offensive to some listeners. Therefore, we emphasize the fact that it is all simply Art.

Rob Geary ( above by Rozalind Ewashina) from Welcome to Eastvan brought sample apparel for the students and emphasized the value of putting "Street Art" into professional formats, such as stickers and t-shirts. He spoke about the work ethic that is essential to building a successful business.

SNAK and Evil Ebenezer (above) discussed the path that has brought them to where they are today. They spoke about all the teachers who wanted to give them ritalin and "fix" them. All of their success has been cultivated through the process of hard work, determination and unwillingness to give up. 

 students discuss art books with Emotionz at B.O.B.(photo by Trish Meow)

Emotionz (above) and DJ Stylust brought shirts and CDs, taught in-depth lessons in Hip-Hop, "Street-Art" and the process of building your own career. The main message they emphasized, was that nobody is going to discover you if you're making beats in your parent's basement. Get up, get out, promote yourself, and make it happen. 

I was really impressed by the quality of what the speakers brought to this program. They came in as volunteers. They expressed the fact that they saw themselves in the students. 

As each speaker created conversations, I was amazed to see the amount of focus and inspiration that was generated in the classes. On the last day, the students said that they didn't want the classes to end. Since the pilot project of Early Risers was done without a budget, the students decided to put on a fundraiser to keep the program going. Stay tuned for details. 

If you want to support us or stay in the loop, email [email protected] 

Special thanks to B.O.B. (building opportunities with business), for providing an affordable, gorgeous meeting room! 

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