We are so excited to have launched the ArtsConnection Music Makers after-school program this year. 

Students from Crotona International High School in the Bronx have been learning the business of the hip-hop music industry by diving into the foundations of hip-hop history and culture, attending cutting-edge performances, and meeting hip-hop industry professionals and culture agents. Recently, the students met Aaliytha Stevens, Founder of Ashé Collective and former Chief Operating Officer at SpotCo, Chelsea Smith, Program Officer at the Altman Foundation, Russ Jones, Senior Vice President, Commercial Partnerships at Sony Music Entertainment, and Christie Love Santiago, Schools Program Manager at The Apollo Theater for a panel discussion about life in the arts, both on stage and behind the scenes.In this FREE, year-long course, the students not only acquire valuable job readiness skills in music production, but thanks to Sony Music Entertainment’s generous support, each of them will also take home a music-making kit including a laptop, midi board, Logic Subscription and more!

After the success of this pilot program, we hope to expand the program next year as part of a city-wide celebration of the 50th anniversary of hip hop.

There’s a mix of laughter and learning that’s very unique to the Sony Music Makers program. I’m very happy to be working with this group of teens and look forward to seeing what they do with these new skills and equipment. — Isaac Sawyer, instructor