BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Baltimore music education program will be recognized at South by Southwestone of the biggest festivals in the country, next month.
“don’t beat bullets,“ a local non-profit organization, will receive the 2022 SXSW Community Service Award for the group’s dedication to fostering a positive impact in the community.
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SXSW is scheduled for March 11-20 in Austin, Texas.
“A festival of this magnitude and bringing Baltimore there and Beats Not Bullets there is humbling and exciting,” said MC Bravado, program coordinator for Beats Not Bullets. “It shows us that we are doing something right for sure.”
The program teaches students the ins and outs of the music industry, from performance to the technical side, even networking.
Organization leaders say they are now seeking viable technology partnerships to help bolster their curriculum with financial literacy, entrepreneurship and technology skills in hopes of creating job opportunities in Baltimore.
“So even if a student doesn’t get into music, they have more universal skills,” MC Bravado said.
Dawuane Johnson, who goes by “Bigwuane” on stage, is a recent graduate of the program who hopes to make a big breakthrough in the music industry.
“This program has had an incredible impact on my life,” Johnson said. “I want to be a superstar.
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Now, he’s one step closer to that goal as he’s been chosen to perform at SXSW alongside program coordinator MC Bravado and other artists.
“I’m ready,” Johnson said. “I’m so hyped that I just want to go out there and do my best and have fun.”
“I think Juan is one of the best students we’ve ever seen in the program so I’m glad his talent is shining because he deserves it,” added MC Bravado.
In addition to receiving an award and performing at SXSW, Beats Not Bullets will host a panel during the EDU portion of the festival.
“We were able to organize a panel that talks about the emerging educational hip hop industry,” MC Bravado said. “There are many more schools and universities that are incorporating hip hop into their curriculum, aligning hip hop with strong pedagogy and learning goals and just showing that it has a real place in the classroom. classroom.”
Program officials and graduates say they hope to continue serving the Baltimore community as a positive outlet for growth in the years to come.
“What they’re doing here is really amazing and I can really see the changes it’s making in people’s lives,” Johnson said.
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Beats Not Bullets will be hosting a fundraising show in April. It’s scheduled for 9 p.m. on April 22 at the Metro Gallery in Baltimore. Proceeds will go to the Beats Not Bullets program.