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Fab-5 is ready to give local kids a summer’s worth of skills and fun

Post by Rosemary Ponnekanti / The News Tribune on June 22, 2010 at 11:35 am |
June 21, 2010 11:45 am


Long Le of Tacoma gives a thumbs up after learning a break dance move at Brick City in Tacoma during Fab-5's 2009 L.I.F.E. session. (Photo by Lui Kit Wong)

Know any kids that have potential but need steering into good choices? Fab-5 is ready for them. The Tacoma non-profit that supports youth and community through hip-hop culture is rolling out its summer program L.I.F.E. for the second year beginning this Saturday. The free eight-week program uses 20 local professional artists to teach at-risk and underserved kids skills that give them self-esteem, career possibilities and positive choices.

The L.I.F.E. program was created as a response to what director Eddie Sumlin calls a lack of relevant creative outlets for at-risk youth. Every Saturday for five hours kids can learn DJing, music production, breakdancing and legal graffiti techniques through rotating workshops, plus how these media connect to traditional arts via music theory, freeform movement, mixed-media art, drawing, color theory, typography, screen printing, public art and mural planning. This year the program’s held at Stewart Middle School.

Each session also includes discussion about students’ experiences and how new skills can be applied productively in schools and neighborhoods.

Says Sumlin: “Although Fab-5 work is centered on creating art, our main outcomes and objectives are cultivating communities where young people from diverse backgrounds can gather, collaborate, learn and share ideas.”

The L.I.F.E. session finishes with a student-generated live event, which last year doubled as a food/clothing drive for local organizations.

Fab-5’s L.I.F.E. summer session is free, open to ages nine and up, and runs11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays from June 26-Aug. 21. Stewart Middle School, 5010 Pacific Ave., Tacoma. 253-304-7915, www.fab-5.org

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