RIVERVIEW, Fla. — One local organization is providing classes in performing and visual arts to kids in the Bay Area.
“Our program is really designed to really get youth on the right track or keep them on the right track,” said Joel Greene, program coordinator with Prodigy Moves. “It’s kind of like Meals on Wheels, but classes on wheels. Really bring those classes to the sights and people that need them,” said Greene.
They ride around in a brightly colored van to wherever their services are most needed. “From drumming, singing, visual arts, break dancing. We mix that with life skills,” said Greene.
Prodigy Moves has been around for about six years and many of their kid’s programs are absolutely free. “So, we’re on our way to the CDC of Tampa’s site at Rodgers Middle School. We’ll be teaching west African drum player, specifically the djembe. It’s a type of hand drum to youths ages middle school to early high school. Come along with us,” said Greene.
“It’s been really fun because in fifth grade I used to play the drums, but it was a really short experience because of covid,” said Maria. For Maria, this class is an opportunity to express her creative side and make friends in the process. “I got to, like, talk to them and like they would tell me, ‘oh, yea, this is hard,’ and I would help them with the drums and we would also, like, cheer each other on,” said Maria.
This is Addison’s fourth class and a chance for her to try something new during the summer. “I mean, the first one, it wasn’t very good because it was my first one and I’ve never really played drums before, but I’ve gotten a lot better,” said Addison.
Freddy Montes is a renowned musician and their instructor. Tapping into his Afro-Cubano roots, he has been teaching people how to play the drums for about 40 years and he said it is about more than just the music. “Also develop one thing in the brain. The music gives them another sensitivity,” said Montes.