Real-world opportunities for real-world success for real-world kids.
At Soul Spin, we create applied studio, leadership, & business management opportunities for promising kids who face environmental barriers to success.
Soul Spin is a youth-led music & event production team in Atlanta, GA. Membership is offered free-of-charge to elementary-school kids at select sites in Southwest Atlanta & College Park who meet multiple times each week, throughout the year. Kids in our "Youth DJ Crew" learn how to DJ, as well as take leadership roles in the group, ranging from event coordinator to graphic designer. They then use these skills to plan events around Atlanta in collaboration with our event partners. All of our events are, from start to finish, produced by our youth.
Through membership, our kids not only learn about music & studio arts, but gain practical, hands-on experience with business development, entrepreneurship, project management, accounting & finance, & marketing. They become fluent in teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, communication & self-management, empowering youth to be successful not just creatively, but in the classroom, at home, & in their future careers
How It Works
Practically, here's how our program works: We use DJing & studios arts as a "context" for strategic, personalized, & intensive social/emotional, behavioral, & educational support. We like to think of our studio as the "spoonful of sugar" that makes the medicine go down. The "fun" of the studio is really important in promoting things like behavioral success, but underneath that fun is a heaping dose of high-powered support & intervention that helps give our kids a foundation on which to build success.
Our Youth Studio
We have a small group of kids who meet several times each week throughout the year. During these "office hours" (we try to keep things professional), kids work on projects related DJing, event planning, & their chosen leadership area (e.g., graphic design, A/V production, event coordination). We start and end each day with a team meeting (led by our youth office manager) when we'll coordinate upcoming events. Then, on the weekends (and sometimes during the week), we'll head to event sites where we'll throw parties. We also take other field trips related to music, such as attending other (family-friendly) DJ parties, meeting with featured monthly guest DJs, & touring studios. Periodically, we also do things that most other professionals do like job applications & performance reviews.
Back of House
Behind the scenes, we've got an assortment of support structures in place to help our kids succeed, from our initial multi-dimensional assessment process to the creation of Individual Support Plans (ISPs) with assessment-linked interventions. Sometimes, we break into program time to formally engage in these strategies (e.g., we may take 10 minutes to do social skills training). Often, though, these support strategies are operating in the background of our program - always present, always on, and made a lot more tolerable and meaningful by our more overt studio program activities.