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Registered Charity Number : 26-3292131

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In the beginning, I didn’t understand what R.A.V.E.S. meant to the vision, especially formulating a concept that represented the gospel music industry.  All I knew was that a “rave” was loud and noisy. Later, it became clear.  Redeemed Artists Victoriously Exalting and Soulwinning captured the true essence of our faith through song.  Therefore, it was important to bring new faces and new music to America.  Youth displayed exceptional abilities in both categories. The music was on the inside of them.  It was loud and noisy, but opportunities were limited for most new artists, and even more so, for budding youth.

 

There were no templates for us to build upon other than American Idol when we crafted a gospel singing competition format.  “America RAVES National Talent Search” was copyrighted in 2003 and later renamed “Sign Your Heart Out” to bring a fresh and youthful approach. Many concepts emerged later such as Sunday Best which is the most popular example of our effort and cemented our ability to “think outside the box”.  Recruiting placed us in rural and urban communities, filled with unbelievable talent, and we were ready to meet the challenge. Young people responded from everywhere.  We discovered that they were eager, but in need of preparation for national exposure.  Through prayer and planning, we developed a holistic approach because many youth were impacted by personal issues of violence, abuse, family relationships, school and spiritual.

 

There were no templates for us to build upon other than American Idol when we crafted a gospel singing competition format.  “America RAVES National Talent Search” was copyrighted in 2003 and later renamed “Sign Your Heart Out” to bring a fresh and youthful approach. Many concepts emerged later such as Sunday Best which is the most popular example of our effort and cemented our ability to “think outside the box”.  Recruiting placed us in rural and urban communities, filled with unbelievable talent, and we were ready to meet the challenge. Young people responded from everywhere.  We discovered that they were eager, but in need of preparation for national exposure.  Through prayer and planning, we developed a holistic approach because many youth were impacted by personal issues of violence, abuse, family relationships, school and spiritual.

 

The talent search became the spring board for the organization of a Youth Empowerment Program in 2008. We were afforded the unique opportunity to share the arts and offer avenues leading to promising and brighter futures. When I watch television and read the news, I am disturbed by statistics that label young people as drug abusers, gang bangers, HIV infected and “Generation X” meaning that our children have no identity, or invisible or hopeless. That is not true because so many are living productive and successful lives.  They are going on to college and beyond.

When I received this awesome vision in 2003 and God instructed me to craft a gospel singing competition format, I didn’t know what I was doing, and what a blessing it would be. I have so many opportunities to impart wisdom, spiritual nuggets, counsel and be a shoulder for youth to cry on. We have to challenge young people. They have so much to offer. We must inspire them to “see the impossible as possible”.  The talent search will always be an opportunity to seek out youth with star quality, but more important we are granting opportunities and access for all talented young people to achieve.”

Beverly Rhodes

Chief Executive Office