WHAT WE DO
Genesis provides music, dance, and visual arts classes to children and youth from marginalized communities in Toronto and Central America. The program is free of charge and designed to provide an introduction to the arts for children and youth with little or no exposure to music, dance, and visual arts.
With a focus on opening doors for at-risk or underprivileged children and youth, Genesis aims to cultivate creative thinking and encourage youth to develop a sense of self-worth, value of commitment, and curiosity through hands-on engagement with music and the arts.
WHERE WE WORK
Genesis runs after school music programs in Toronto in partnership with local organizations. Volunteer teachers offer guitar and drum lessons once a week with classes of 5 to 10 students.
Genesis also runs arts education programs in Choloma, Honduras, Copán Ruinas, Honduras, and Panajachel, Guatemala in partnership with local organizations. Local teachers provide weekly guitar, piano, ukulele, singing, flute, and introduction to music and art classes to children and youth using a specialized and culturally-appropriate curriculum, designed by Genesis’ Central America coordinator, Deuel Morales.
Through its programs in Canada, Honduras, and Guatemala, Genesis also offers employment opportunities for local artists interested in facilitating our programs.
Local teachers receive additional training and a modest stipend that allows them to enjoy an economically sustainable way to use their artistic skills to give back to their own communities.
WHY ARTS EDUCATION?
Genesis believes that music, dance, and visual art offer many alternative learning opportunities and positive outcomes. Studies show that young people exhibit enhanced learning and achievement when involved in a variety of arts experiences. In the long-term, arts and art education also helps youth develop healthy coping mechanisms and become more self-aware, which in turn can increase self-worth, confidence, and sense of purpose.
Genesis’ hands-on method of arts education also helps children and youth develop highly transferable
problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
AND CENTRAL AMERICA?
Up to 2,000 youth are estimated to be homeless on any given night in Toronto. Homeless youth are
approximately 40 times more likely to die, by suicide or drug overdose, compared to housed youth, and are vulnerable to mental health issues, substance abuse, and other barriers to making a successful transition into productive adulthood.
In Central America, Honduras and Guatemala are home to some of the highest homicide rates in the world. Violent street gangs in both countries pose a significant threat to youth in particular. Vulnerable children and youth, orphans, and young people with little access to public services are most at risk of joining gangs.
In both Toronto and Central America, Genesis aims to
help at-risk and vulnerable youth achieve healthy social, emotional, and psychological well-being and to mitigate some of the risks they face.
Genesis' first group of teachers
Top from left to right: Jose D. Reyes, Astrid Ayala, Carlos Andino.
Bottom from left to right: Giselle Rodriguez, Duane Forrest, Kenny Molina.
Founder & Songwriter