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Guest Blogger:  Erica Stevens | The Warehouse Rocks | January 28, 2016

I am delighted to have guest blogger, Erica Stevens, share information about her new non-profit, The Warehouse Rocks, with you!  Erica is a friend, fellow businesswoman, and person who makes things happen.

Erica states, “The Warehouse Rocks is founded under the mission “To provide a safe, inspiring environment for our communities youth to explore and grow their lives in the fields of Music & Art. A place to come together, share their talents, collaborate with professionals and fuel their passions to pursue a life of creativity.”

I grew up an “art kid”. My hands always had pencil stains on them, my t-shirts were spotted from paint, I constantly had clay under myERica 400 x 533 nails and I was always looking for the next best way to express myself. To find myself really. I carried a journal everywhere I went, I was always playing the drums on whatever table or book that was in front of me, and I was not afraid to be different than everyone else.

Fast forward 20 years. I am a 37 yr. old year old mother, wife, sister, aunt, business owner and community member who barely has time to blow dry my hair most days, let alone “find myself”. My son turned 16 a couple months ago, and he is, literally, me at that age. He is different, creative, strong, kind, compassionate, caring, and just trying to find himself. I see him seek out the new, the bold, the intriguing. It’s so awesome to watch.

About two years ago, we had a backyard concert where he and his band at the time, played for a dozen or so friends and familyConcert (1) 400 x 400 members. The excitement and happiness I saw in him that day was astounding. He found it. His thing, his place, his niche. Being creative, exploring life with other “creatives”, playing music and being able to share it with people was my kid’s thing. Awesome. But how do I help?

I realized I had to take this positive energy and run with it. Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a YMCA for the Arts? As I started to research, I found that there are a ton of these places and they’re everywhere. Everywhere but here. So, being the Head-Strong-Irish-German-Viking Woman that I am, I decided we would open our own place. We had no board, no money, no building, no plan. Just an idea to build a place that kids like my son could feel comfortable and inspired in. My son was there every step of the way too. He’s at every meeting, copied on every email and even carries our business cards in his wallet.

Riley 400 x 727So…..here we are. A year later and now, we have a board, a little bit of money, and a TON of community support. We found a building, professionals to help and a whole group of kids who have been searching for a place like ours to help them find themselves. Our First Fundraiser is February 5th and we hope to be open full-time for the summer of 2016. What started as a dream has become reality, and I only hope, that this is something my son can be proud of.

The Warehouse Rocks is founded under the mission “To provide a safe, inspiring environment for our communities youth to explore and grow their lives in the fields of Music & Art. A place to come together, share their talents, collaborate with professionals and fuel their passions to pursue a life of creativity.”

To visit The Warehouse Rocks website, click here.

 

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To find out more about The Warehouse Rocks, send Erica an email:

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Thanks Erica!

Creativity is so important for all of us.  But there is no group that we need to encourage an expression of their creativity than the youth in our community.  Best wishes to you on your upcoming Fundraiser on February 5th and opening The Warehouse this summer.

You have my support!

Nancy

 

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