Empowering youth to become creative, productive, and confident members of our community through artistic education, collaboration, and expression.
We’ve been getting lots of questions about what’s happening for Youth Empowerment through Arts and Humanities (YEAH!) in the next season, as we weren’t able to host our Rock Camps this summer. We’re here to say that this fall, YEAH!’s work will be centered around meeting organizational needs with intention and imagination.
We announced in June that our longtime Executive Director Sarah Bandy would be moving on to new opportunities at the end of August. The search for the crucial role of YEAH!’s Executive Director began in earnest and we will have more to announce on this matter very soon. YEAH!’s Board of Directors and the new Executive Director will be working to immerse ourselves in our core values, to complete ongoing strategic planning and to prepare for a transition into the next phase of YEAH!’s work. Gloria Steinem said, “Dreaming is a form of planning,” and we are definitely excited to dream up a lot of new things alongside our new Executive Director.
The pandemic’s profound impact on the programming we do best—getting kids together in a room, putting instruments in their hands and inviting the collaborative expression that follows—has been a challenge. Without the camps, our organization has used 2021 as an opportunity to review our mission and solidify the foundation of our work. We are happy to say that we are more financially sound than we have ever been, thanks in part to the incredible community support we’ve seen over the past 18 months. Building on this year’s behind-the-scenes work, new YEAH! leadership will be empowered to hit the ground running.
We can’t wait. We miss seeing you and will be hosting programming again before you know it. Until then, stay safe and be good to each other!
YEAH! Teaching Artists
Who We Are
Youth Empowerment through Arts and Humanities, Inc. (YEAH!) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable youth arts organization in Nashville, Tennessee. Our mission is to provide a safe learning environment for teens that will empower them not only in the arts but in life skills, volunteerism, and community service. YEAH! creates programming that values collaboration over competition and seeks to give youth the tools they need to create the world in which they want to live.
What We Do
Our flagship summer camps are the Southern Girls Rock Camp and the Tennessee Teens Rock Camp held in both Nashville and Murfreesboro. At Rock Block, our eight-week program in both Nashville and Murfreesboro, students learn to play music through the collaborative experience of playing in their own rock band.
The mission of our camps is to support a culture of positive self-esteem and collaboration among young people while building community through music. These camps recognize the potential of every young person to be a strong, talented, creative, and empowered individual while providing a safe space where everyone rocks. These camps are designed to allow campers (regardless of race, class, gender expression, or creed) freedom of expression and exploration through music and performance. In doing so, these campers are empowered to find their own voice and their own sound without creative boundaries or inhibitions.
We trace our roots back to 2003, when Kelley Anderson, then a student at Middle Tennessee State University, organized and kicked off the first Southern Girls Rock Camp as a joint project between the feminist student organization Women for Women and the June Anderson Women’s Center. After several successful years of growth, Kelley Anderson, Anna Fitzgerald, Courtney Vickers, Andrew Jacks, Ryan York, and Nicole Tekulve founded YEAH! in 2006. Their vision was to create an organization that fostered the creativity of young individuals while building a community of like-minded volunteers and supporters who love the arts and want to share the arts with kids. We have served hundreds of young people over the past several years by offering year-round classes, the summer camps, the School of Recording, filmmaking and photography, arts and crafts, theater arts, and visual arts.
In 2010, we launched a scholarship program which has greatly increased the number of kids able to participate while greatly enabling us to diversify our student population. Roughly 35% of participating youth across all our programming attend on full or partial scholarship and we have never turned away a student due to lack of funds. YEAH! has been able to provide these scholarships through the generous donations of its fans, parents and supporters, (with a total value in excess of $13,500.00 in 2014!) and it has greatly enhanced the experiences in the arts that YEAH! is able to offer its youth.
In Tennessee, drivers can purchase certain* Specialty License Plates in place of the normally issued state license plate. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these plates supports the organization featured so it’s a great opportunity to support the cause you care about most.