7 Reasons to Donate to Fresh Camp 2018


Fresh Camp Cleveland is growing! Last summer we ran a 2-week camp for 70 students in 3 neighborhoods with a paid intern team of 14 junior producer/camp counselors who were all previous students of ours. We recorded 3 albums and built concert seating. Our students and student leaders performed 25 concerts!

But here’s the thing…we are just getting started! We need your help to maximize our reach and amplify our message. Here are the top 7 reasons to Donate to Fresh Camp in 2018.

WE ARE…empowering, building, engaging, cultivating, inspiring, growing, re-freshing

1. We are empowering youth 

Youth are the leaders of tomorrow?

Wait, hold up. We believe youth can be leaders today!

By championing youth voice, we are empowering them to grow in creativity, confidence, and character. As we explore our neighborhood's freshest people, places and attributes, our minds are open to new possibilities, new friendships, new ideas, and new music. We put our ideas to words and our words to music, creating powerful neighborhood anthems that ring out like mini Dr. King speeches. We teach students that their voice has power, and that their voice is needed. If words create worlds, words to a beat create universes!

2. We are building neighborhood relationships


We’ve found the best way to learn about the neighborhood is to do some good old fashioned walking. Yes, one foot in front of the other brings us into the reality of what’s going on for real at the street level.  We visited The Jazzman and The Meeting Place Community Park in Buckeye, The Coit Road Farmers’ Market in East Cleveland, The Gateway 105 Farmers’ Market in Glenville as well as the Midtown Farm and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“I see people in this neighborhood trying to make it a better place, working harder and stronger so that one day buckeye can one day win this race, if you wanna be part of it come down to the meeting place, come on down to the meeting place.”

“We at buckeye, havin fun, trying to make the neighborhood better for everyone”

3. We are engaging 100% of our youth!

Everyone has a gift, a role, a talent. We encourage creative expression through our different art forms and distinctive abilities. As a result, we find that something very rare happens at fresh camp…everyone is engaged!

4. We are cultivating youth voice on the topics that affect their lives.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.” - Maya Angelou

Honesty begets honesty, but what if there are no safe places to be honest? Through our unique arts and culture programming, we cultivate youth voice by providing safe spaces to share the stories that are impacting their lives. We discuss hard topics and find solidarity through telling stories and asking questions in our community. 

5. We are inspiring our communities with messages of hope and unity

MC = Master your craft, Move the crowd, Make Change - Jer One

At Fresh Camp, we focus on messages that are going to improve the health and vitality of our communities, not add to the destruction and sickness. Lyrics and music have a sticky character to them. They get stuck in your head, get lodged in your heart. Our message throughout the years has been one of hope and positive change through cooperative learning and unity. There’s no song that shouts this any clearer than this one written at a previous Fresh Camp, “Everything is Better When We Come Together.”

6. We are growing!

From 1 small camp in 1 neighborhood to 3 camps for 70 students in 3 neighborhoods with a paid intern team of 14 junior producer/camp counselors who were all previous students of ours. We recorded 3 albums and built concert seating. Our students and student leaders performed 25 concerts!

When previous students become paid interns, we know that something is going right! We planted some tiny seeds that first year, watched them germinate, and now see that our roots are going deeper and our branches getting bigger. Will you help us grow and spread even more in 2018?

Here's a few of the locations we visited and the events we performed at in 2017: Slavic Village Farmers' Market, Gateway 105 Farmers' Market, Coit Road Farmers' Market, Ashbury Block Party, East Cleveland Block Party, Salvation Army, Sparx in the City, Veggie Fest, Night Out Against Crime, Heritage Fest, Night Market, Britt Oval, and Wade Oval Wednesday for over 13,000 community members.

7. We are RE-FRESHING our city!

Hip-hop didn’t invent anything…hip-hop re-invented everything. - Grandmaster Caz

What does fresh mean you may ask? Fresh is unique. It’s growing. It’s healthy. It taps into history and brings its gifts into the present, re-cycling, re-using, re-remodeling, re-interpreting, re-making. It’s exciting, energizing, alive, original. Not boring, not copycat, not watered down. You know how un-fresh veggies all taste the same? Bland! Fresh tastes more complex, more flavorful. It’s more of the real me and less of someone else. Fresh sees the goodness and serves it up right - sees the neighborhood through the essence of the goodness that is already there, with new eyes. Fresh takes the scraps to the compost bin and allows something new to resurrect from it. It transforms. From rustbelt, to trustbelt.

Grandmixer DXT, the first DJ to be in a live band (Herbie Hancock) scratched on the phrase, “this stuff is really fresh”. Since then, the word fresh has been a staple in hip-hop. Every era has their slang term for what’s cool, but “fresh” never lost its ripeness.

Hip-hop always takes what is there (old music), and re-mixes it into something new, something fresh. That’s exactly what we’re doing in our neighborhoods through Fresh Camp 2018.

Will you help us Re-Fresh?

Send your tax deductible gift today. Thank you!

Thanks to . . . Salvation Army, Meeting Place Church and Micheal R. White Elementary School for hosting. Thanks to The Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation, St. Luke's Foundation, Neighborhood Connections, Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, and The Puffin Foundation for their generous support. More thanks to St. Clair Superior, Youth Opportunities Unlimited, Shawn Nunley and Braelyn Schenk.