MYSP: Sounds of the Season 2018

MYSP: Sounds of the Season 2018

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MYSP: Sounds of the season 2018

On Saturday, December 15th, 2018, the Memphis Youth Symphony Program (MYSP) hosted their annual “Sounds of the Season” concert.

by Brittany Cooper

Whereas most MSYP performances are free and open to the public, this holiday concert is a fundraiser and is ticketed. Students from all four ensembles have an opportunity to perform beloved holiday tunes for their friends and family members. Karla Philipp conducts the String Ensemble and String Sinfonia and Andrew Crust conducts the String Orchestra and Memphis Youth Symphony. The MYSP is grateful to its donors and patrons who help keep ensembles accessible to Memphis area students. Donations help to provide sheet music, hall rental, concert programs, work study scholarships, professional coaches, and more.

 

Founded in 1966 by the visionary Music Director of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra Vincent de Frank, the Memphis Youth Symphony Program has evolved and grown in tandem with the MSO over the years, achieving independent 501(c)(3) status a decade ago. De Frank himself conducted the MYSP for 14 years before passing on the baton in 1980. Since that time, a multitude of gifted conductors have put their unique signature on the program and inspired new generations of young musicians to embrace and participate in a wide spectrum of musical arts.

About

Musical leaders since 1966, The MYSP has four performing orchestras. All four groups hold open auditions for membership each spring for the following season.

The MYSP encourages a broad base of support. Roughly 200 students from 50 different schools (including home school) from across the Tri-State region participate every year.

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The Blues Foundation doing Amazing Things during IBC week!

The Blues Foundation doing Amazing Things during IBC week!

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The Blues Foundation doing Amazing Things during IBC week!

The Blues Foundation has a program called the HART Fund and this week in the middle of IBC week, the program hosted a health fair for artists that were in town for the challenge.

by JR Robinson

What the heck is IBC week?  This was a question that I asked the first time I heard it.  Then I heard something about the BMA’s, and the fact that these were both very big events in Memphis.  How could that be and so few people in Memphis know about them?  Don’t get me wrong, in some circles these letters are a very big deal.  But the average person in Memphis knows very little if anything about these hidden gems of our city.

This week at Club 152 on Beale Street there was a health fair.  Wait, a health fair in a bar?  Yes and that is because this was no ordinary health fair, it was a health fair being put on for Blues artists coming to town from around the world.  So now a health fair in a bar makes sence.  The Blues Foundation has a program called the HART Fund and this week in the middle of IBC week, the program hosted a health fair for artists that were in town for the challenge.

So for anyone who dosen’t know what the IBC is, let me explain.  The IBC is the International Blues Challenge hosted by the Blues Foundation right here in Memphis.  A Wikipedia search clears things up very nicely.  The International Blues Challenge is a music competition run by the Blues Foundation.  Notable blues artists that have competed in the IBC over the years also includes Fiona Boyes, Eden Brent, Michael Burks, Tommy Castro, Sean Costello, Albert Cummings, Larry Garner, Zac Harmon, Homemade Jamz Blues Band, HowellDevine, Richard Johnston, Julian Fauth, Super Chikan, Susan Tedeschi, Southern Avenue, and Watermelon Slim.[2] The 1994 event in particular had a lot of talent as Susan Tedeschi, Michael Burks (who won the Albert King Guitar Award) and a 16 year old Sean Costello competed, although none of them were the eventual winners.

 

This event brings in thousands of Blues artists every year for a competition and for some of the best new Blues music in the world. Before I move on, let me define that other three letter collection known as the BMA’s. That stands for the Blues Music Awards, I had the honor of attending last year and I can tell you that it is truly one of the most amazing events in our city. Barbara Ballin Newman is the President of the Blues Foundation and has done amazing things with the organization since she took the helm. Her work on the Blues Music Awards is an outstanding example of how Memphis as a city should be presented to the world.

As I discovered this week, there is so much more to the Blues Foundation than a couple big events and a museum. So let’s get back to the health fair in a bar! It turns out the Blues Foundation has a program called the HART Fund and this week the crew was out at Club152 helping artists spend a little time taking care of themselves. The Blues Foundation established the HART Fund (Handy Artists Relief Trust) for Blues musicians and their families in financial need due to a broad range of health concerns. The Fund provides for acute, chronic and preventive medical and dental care as well as funeral and burial expenses. Throughout the year at various events the HART Fund provides free health screenings for musicians, with services including but not limited to checking blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, prostate cancer, Hep C, anemia, thyroid, kidney and liver testing via blood work.

We sat down with Dr. Janice Johnston who is a Blues Foundation Board Member and one of the founders of Arrowhead Health Centers to talk about the HART Fund. Dr. Janice Johnston is a family physician that’s also just happens to be a huge blues fan. She says, “I always wanted to go to the Blues Music Awards and was lucky enough to go with some friends that were nominated some years ago. That’s where I learned about the HART Fund and knew I needed to get involved.” Janice has been on the Board of Directors for the past 6 years and has chaired the HART Fund committee for the past 6 years as well. Since the HART Fund started about 20 years ago it was used as a support system to help blues musicians with medical, dental and funeral expenses. She was able to add the proactive health screenings when she joined as a way of creating fuller program of services for artists.

 

Janice adds that “It’s always been about the musicians. They fall into the category of non-insured or under insured and often will let health issues slide due to lack of adequate funding. The HART Fund is also there to support the families of Blues artists after they pass with funeral expenses. We see a lot of need for dental help as well.”

Blues artists can reach out directly to the Blues Foundation to apply for assistance. There is more information on the website http://www.blues.org. Many times friends or family members will reach out on the behalf of artist. The program makes it a point to be visible at all Blues Foundation signature events. Janice had this to say about a personal experience she had with an artist in need. “One of the best ones memories I have has with the programs was during our first health screening where we identified a newly diagnosed diabetic, Jonn Richardson. We were able to get him the care and medication he needed and prevent him from getting really sick and needing to go to the ER. But the list goes on and on, helping to negotiate fair pricing (it’s absolutely crazy out there in the healthcare world trying to navigate that on your own), helping to identify Hepatitis C and prostate Cancer as well. I’m super excited about the opportunity we have soon to also offer vision screening services too.

This week is a big week for everyone at the Blues Foundation and they showed how truly amazing they are by doing hundreds of health screening right here in our city for Blues artists from around the world. Here at JustMyMemphis, this is what we call #BeAmazing. So I want to say thank you to Barbara Ballin Newman and Sherry May from Memphis and the entire team of the Blues Foundation for the amazing work they are doing here in our city.

About

The Blues Foundation established the HART Fund (Handy Artists Relief Trust) for Blues musicians and their families in financial need due to a broad range of health concerns. The Fund provides for acute, chronic and preventive medical and dental care as well as funeral and burial expenses. Throughout the year at various events the HART Fund provides free health screenings for musicians, with services including but not limited to checking blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, prostate cancer, Hep C, anemia, thyroid, kidney and liver testing via blood work. 

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Faith & Inspiration

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Madonna Learning Center Annual Gala 2019[EVENT]

Madonna Learning Center Annual Gala 2019[EVENT]

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Madonna Learning center

“Madonna Learning Center provides a nurturing faith-based educational and social environment that empowers children and young adults with special needs to reach their full potential while offering support to their families.

School services are for students ages 4-19 years, and consist of six ungraded classes or “groups.” Each group has at least two teachers (licensed teacher and teaching assistant) – with 6 to 12 students depending on age and the needs of the group:

Group 1 – Approximate ages between 4 – 7 years old;

Group 2 – Approximate ages between 7 – 10 years old;

Group 3 – Approximate ages between 10 – 12 years old;

Group 4 – Approximate ages between 12 – 14 years old;

Junior High – Approximate ages between 14 – 16 years old; and

Senior High – Approximate ages between 17 – 19 years old.

Our lower school incorporates reading, math, science and social studies. Specialized therapeutic services are offered in speech and language, Occupational Therapy, movement, art, music, and therapeutic physical education.

Empowering children & adults with disabilities

Madonna learning center gala

It’s that time of year for the MLC Gala!  Join us for “A Night of REEL Fun, It’s Showtime for Madonna!” The 2019 Silent Auction and Gala will be held Saturday, February 23rd the East Memphis Hilton.

by Carrie Roberts

Don’t wait to buy your tickets or sign up for a sponsorship!  Since we are the best party in town, seats are filling fast and you don’t want to miss this great time with MLC friends and family as we raise funds to support the programs that empower our students and trainees to meet their full potential!

Included in the price of admission is all food, beer and wine, music by The Soul Shockers, dancing and access to bid on over 300 items in the silent and live auctions. Advance tickets are $100 each. Tickets the night of the event are $125. Drink tickets for liquor may be purchased at the event. The silent auction will go live online February 15. Bid high and bid often to support a great cause! Tickets and auction information is available at 501auctions. For questions or to purchase tickets by phone, please call Carrie Roberts at (901) 752-5767 or email croberts@madonna-learning.org.

Tickets & Share Event

Check out Last Year’s Gala!

Go Inside Madonna Learning Center

About

Madonna Learning Center provides a nurturing faith-based educational and social environment that empowers young and adult students with special needs to reach their full potential while offering support to their families.

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Early Success Coalition Marks a Milestone

Early Success Coalition Marks a Milestone

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Early Success Coalition Marks a Milestone and Makes Big Changes

Tuesday evening was a time for celebration as the Early Success Coalition marked 10 years of service in Shelby County, announced its new home at Porter-Leath, and named Kellie Mitchell as its new Director. The non-profit collaborative works with a network of caregivers and providers to give the community’s youngest and most vulnerable children the strongest foundation for lifelong success. 

by Elise Herron | Duy Nguyen

During the reception, key partners illuminated the Coalition’s accomplishments in improving outcomes for children from pre-conception to age five – as well as discussed its plans for the future. “It’s a good time to reflect, look back at what’s worked and what we can do better” said Sean Lee, President of Porter-Leath. Other partners include Centering Pregnancy, First S.T.E.P.S., Le Bonheur, Nurturing Parenting, One by One Ministries and the Shelby County Health Department.

The Coalition also formally welcomed Kellie Mitchell as its new Director. A native Memphian, Mitchell is a graduate of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health as well as the former Director of Strategic and Affiliate Operations at A Step Ahead Foundation. She brings over 10 years of experience in child and maternal health to her role at the Coalition.

Looking forward, the Coalition will continue to expand outreach, education and services for children and families from its new home at Porter-Leath’s Early Childhood Support Center, located at 3400 Prescott Road.

Images from the event

About Porter-Leath

Before 1850, widows and orphans in Shelby County, Tenn., had nowhere to turn for food, shelter, clothing and care. That meant willing and compassionate citizens had to fill the gap. Sarah Leath was one of those citizens, and as a widow and mother herself, she took the lead to organize such a place—the home that would become Porter-Leath. Since its founding, Porter-Leath has remained passionately committed to serving at-risk children and families in Memphis. While both its name and mission have evolved with changing times and events, the focus has always been to serve Memphis’ most vulnerable citizens. Today Porter-Leath helps more than 10,000 low-income children and families annually with programs designed to meet their developmental, health and social needs at the earliest opportunity. Our mission is empowering children and families to achieve a healthy, optimal and independent lifestyle.

About

Early success coalition

Since our focus is on improving the lives of children we work to strengthen the network of caregivers and providers that serve these children. Specifically, we work with early childhood service providers including teachers, pediatricians and other health care providers, infant mental health specialists, behavioral health specialists, home visitors, social service providers as well as parents and caregivers.

Website   |  Resources

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The Why: JC Runyon Foundation

The Why: JC Runyon Foundation

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The Why:

JC Runyon Foundation

Growing up, I always wanted to be a teacher. Always. I remember having a “classroom” in my childhood bedroom in Mayfield, KY, filled with discarded teacher editions of textbooks and a chalkboard.

by Niki R. Shaheen | Founder/President of J.C Runyon Foundation

My class roster consisted of my brothers and childhood neighbors. I even had a red check next to my brother, Chris, who misbehaved badly.

But also growing up, I had a father who would come into my classroom to talk about “good and bad feels.” He was a psychologist, so my understanding that people get sad and need to see a different kind of doctor was as much a part of me as going to school every day.

As a teenager, I worked in my father’s office as the receptionist throughout high school. I was in charge of typing his dictation notes from all of his sessions. He, at the time, was one of the only mental health providers in town. While my peers described the local psych ward as the “loony bin”, I always knew better. I knew all the secrets of all my friends, and it never once dawned on me as unusual to know this, much less to tell anyone (or them) what I knew. It was no different to me than being the daughter of the local pediatrician. Little Johnny was treated for the chicken pox or depression over his parents’ divorce. It was all the same to me.

It should come as no surprise that I became a teacher and married a man who worked in behavioral health. The two parts of my life uniting into one. Eventually, my husband started his own behavioral health care company and owns and operates several freestanding psychiatric hospitals around the United States. If only my dad had lived to see it. We lost him to cancer in 2007.

After teaching for many years, I found that I needed to be home with my boys, so I left the profession. Now, with a little time on my hands, I finally had time to look into something that I had been thinking about for a bit. Being on the provider side of mental health, I knew that the cost of treatment, not only for inpatient treatment, but for outpatient care, medication, ED visits, etc., was high. Really, really high. I thought about the kids that my father treated so many years ago, I thought about my own students who had struggled over the years and I wondered how they were able to move forward after all that. Had they gone to college? So I started to look into statistics of kids with mental health disorders who go to college. There wasn’t much out there about that.

But I quickly learned a reason why. I found articles from parents who’d used credit cards, took out second mortgages, spent college savings to pay for their children’s treatment. I would do it too. I would do whatever it took to help my child and think about the consequences later. I talked a former student who is now an adult and learned that he wasn’t able to go to college because there just was no money left. His high school transcripts and overall GPA disqualified him from traditional scholarships or even the state funded HOPE scholarship. His upper middle-class parents made too much to qualify for Pell Grants or other such funding. He was not alone. There were many families just like this.

That is when it hit me. I wanted to combine my passion for education with my knowledge of mental health to create something that would make it possible for these kids to go to college. I began researching scholarships and realized that there are scholarships for surviving cancer, kids of parents lost to cancer, scholarships based on your gender, race, socio-economic status, scholarships for athletic ability, academic ability and gaming ability. But there was nothing, I mean nothing for students who had overcome substance abuse, psychiatric disorders, eating disorders or suicidal ideation/attempts.

I was shocked. Mental health disorders affect one in four students. Severe disorders, requiring inpatient hospitalization, affect 2% of that number. Essentially, on average 1 in 25 adolescents in America will require intensive treatment for a mental health disorder each year. That is one student out of every classroom in America, on average. It gets worse, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in the US. That is just under accidental death, car accidents, drowning and drug overdoses. Why, I thought, are we not shouting this from the rooftops? We celebrate cancer survivors (as well as we should) but why do we hide from suicide survival? Overcoming depression? Managing Bipolar Disorder?

So, I began to change that. In the spirit of my father, who really wanted to give his patients to the tools to help themselves, I wanted to do the same. I want to celebrate our kids who have learned to manage their Bipolar Disorder or Major Anxiety Disorder. I want to talk about how that part of their lives is important and has changed them in big and small ways, but it isn’t the only part of their lives. It’s just a chapter. It’s hard to be a teenager, but for those who have a behavioral health disorder, it’s even harder. Our society still thinks of mental health disorder as a “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” scenario. But it couldn’t be farther from the truth. It’s our sons and daughters, our neighbors. It’s the 1% and the poverty stricken. I promise that every single person has someone close to them affected by this. But we don’t celebrate them. We talk in whispers about it.

The JC Runyon Foundation was the first scholarship program in the US of its kind. I’m glad to say that there are others now, but we remain the largest. We aren’t just a scholarship program. We don’t just write a check and move on. We create relationships. I keep in contact with each one of our scholarship recipients throughout their college time and beyond. We have a Gala every year here in Memphis where we celebrate them. I can’t tell you how many attendees come to me later thinking that they were there to inspire our students, but have come away inspired themselves. Parents of our students tell us how much it means to be able to be congratulated for making it through a dark time. It is really something to see.

We are still pretty new and will have our first 4 year scholarship recipient graduate this Spring (2019). I hear from kids and adults all over the world daily and I can’t believe how lucky I am to be able to listen and encourage. But it’s just not enough. This is a need that has only begun to be met. We can’t possibly meet all the needs – last year we received over $2.5 million in grant requests. Honestly, the hardest part of my job is telling kids no. It kills me. We’ve awarded $340,000 worth of scholarships so far, but I still think about the kids who we had to turn away, and I talk to a few of them from time-to-time.

I realize how fortunate I am that I can do this job without ever taking a salary. And thanks to my husband’s commitment to the mission, we are able to use his office space and resources. I’m so grateful to be able to use those donor funds for tuition and not salaries and overhead expenses! But I am mostly grateful that I can use my own skills to shine a light on our kids. Like Ellie, University of Rhode Island Class of 2022 said, “My diagnosis does not define me, I am Ellie, athlete, student, friend, sister, daughter and leader”. The struggles they have been though are not the whole book, only a chapter, it’s time to #LiveYourNextChapter.

About

JC Runyon Foundation

We are a scholarship program for those who have completed an in-patient treatment for either substance abuse or psychiatric treatment. We want to help you #LiveYourNextChapter!
Profile  |  Website
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49th Annual Christmas Play Madonna Learning Center

49th Annual Christmas Play Madonna Learning Center

49th annual
Christmas Play

Madonna Learning Center Sold out!

By Lisa Abart

Duncan-Williams, Inc. spotlights:  GPAC

Madonna Learning Center (MLC)

The 49th annual Christmas Play sold out at Germantown Performing Arts Center (GPAC) for 3 performances and stole everyones hearts another year! Another great gift to the community.
For the 6th year in a row, GPAC has graciously been the home for the MLC Christmas Play. This year the students and adults provided the “Light” to share with everyone for this Holiday Season. With dance pieces from, “O Holy Night” , “This Little Light of Mine”, to Justin Timberlake’s, “Can’t Stop the Feeling”. The Show was a constant reminder of how unique, and remarkable the students and staff at MLC truly are.

One of the trainees in the Adult Program, told her Mother after one of the performances, “Mom, I’m just so happy! I love my life, and I never want to leave Madonna!”

Get ready for next year, as Madonna Learning Center prepares for their 50th Anniversary Show. It’ll surely be one you won’t want to miss.

the christmas play

More on Madonna Learning Center

Madonna Learning Center provides a nurturing, faith-based educational and social environment that empowers children and young adults with special needs to reach their full potential while offering support to their families. Our goal is simple – to develop our students so they may be able to live independently and be contributors to their community. Our school program offers developmentally appropriate classes with an emphasis on individualized, academic, physical and social education. Our adult curriculum is designed to help our students acquire the skills necessary to achieve independent living, employment and personal achievements by offering Life-Centered Education and Work-Based Learning.

Duncan-Williams, Inc. Presents:

It's Happening in Memphis

Benefiting the Germantown Performing Arts Center

2018-2019 
GPAC SEASON

  • November 4, 2018 Soweto Gospel Choir
  • November 10, 2018 Ellis Marsalis Quintet
  • January 11, 2019 Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver with Flatt Lonesome
  • January 12, 2019 Fred Hersch Pocket Orchestra
  • January 26, 2019 Dorrance Dance
  • February 2, 2019 Jazzmeia Horn
  • March 30, 2019 Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour
  • March 1, 2019 Shawn Colvin
  • May 4, 2019 Ballet Memphis: Midsummer Night's Dream

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Time to #BeAmazing

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