America RAVES was founded May 21, 2003 by Beverly Rhodes. It is a 501 (c)(3) Non-profit Humanitarian Organization, committed to reaching youth and young adults, from urban, rural and under-served communities, across America. In addition, we offer cultural experiences to the community at large that provide long term and sustainable opportunities for youth. Our goals are to present a forum for young people, strengthen and promote more culturally vibrant communities, improve parent involvement, contribute to the economic and developmental well-fare of neighborhoods.
We believe that youth have potential for greatness and can overcome obstacles threatening to deter their growth. We are unique in that we recognize the viability of raw talent and always seeking developmental opportunities. We are open to new ideas and concepts that allow inclusion and involvement, from young people on various levels that unveil their creative abilities, in meaningful ways such as effecting desire for higher education, expansion of cultural knowledge and granting access to resources, opportunities and support of stronger abiding faith. Our ultimate goal is to prepare young people who are ready, willing and able to take their place as future leaders.
Whatever they want to be is not out of reach. Their dreams can come true!
Our over 30 years of experience producing arts related programming, initiatives and events has equipped us to be teachers and trainers with the capability to flesh out beneficial elements and models of the creative process leading to impartation of knowledge, enrichment, realistic goal setting and a keener awareness that lead to more engaged and energetic young people of purpose.
The organization was founded as a cry from new and independent artists, who were discouraged at the lack of opportunities and resources available in the gospel music industry. Their passion was singing, exposing their gift and spreading the Good News. Therefore, The America RAVES National Talent Search, later named “Sing Your Heart Out” gospel singing competition was launched in 2003, to fill that void. The vision was inspired by American Idol. The concept initially focused on outstanding gospel singers between the ages of 18-40 years old, whose faith was an important element of sharing their heart through music. During our talent searches, we discovered raw, but outstanding talent among youth residing in communities where opportunities were limited or non-existent. As a result, we begin seeking youth for the “Sing Your Heart Out” talent competition, which matured into opportunities to develop, nurture and expose many of their talents. In 2008, we organized The Youth Empowerment Program to offer arts programs that empower young people to reach their potential in various artistic fields. Our programs focused on education, faith and self-development, inspiring their desire to excel. The talent search still equips young people for national platforms and economic opportunities. It has been a forum to reach hundreds of young people nationwide. Through workshops, conferences, showcases, community initiatives and other services, young people are being transformed. In 2010, we organized the Junior Advisory Board, under the direction of Apostle Sandra Broughton to train youth ages 10-17 years old for leadership. The Atlanta JAM community gospel singing group was founded by Beverly Rhodes in 2011 to promote music and support artists with extraordinary talent in genres such as gospel, R& B, choirs and other genres. The Atlanta JAM is still evolving.
Our mission is the empowerment of youth and young adults through arts continuation and preservation programs, primarily among at risk young people, of all ages and cultures. However, our focus is on youth, 10-17 years old and young people 18-25 years old. We offer a variety of individual and collective strategies, resources, support and cultural experiences designed to inspire and motivate them to reach maximum potential.