Technophobia is honored to be working with Life Pieces To Masterpieces (LTPM). All of the proceeds from both the Negative Space single and the Flicker Out LP sold between May 12, 2016 and October 31, 2016 will be donated to support LPTM’s summer program, “LPTM's Connecting Communities Across the Globe”. The summer program includes breakfast, lunch, and three field trips a week, and serves to prevent summer learning loss, while engaging the program participants in a cross-cultural experience. This summer LPTM is studying South Africa. The fund raising goal for this campaign is $3,000.
Life Pieces to Mastepeices in Washington D.C.
History, Mission, and Goals
Founded in 1996, Life Pieces To Masterpieces (LPTM/Life Pieces) is an arts-based, youth development, and mentoring organization for African American males ages 3 to 25. We take our name from the unique style of art that our Apprentices (program participants) collectively create. Apprentices collaborate to decide on a life experience to make the topic of their painting, they then make their masterpiece together by painting, cutting, arranging, and sewing pieces of canvas. This process reflects our belief that however challenging individual “pieces” of our lives may be, we can respond to them in a way that makes our lives into masterpieces. For 20 years, LPTM has made this transformation possible by providing an environment where young men receive unwavering love, know they are safe, and learn to express themselves fully, while exploring their identities and goals.
From our small beginnings working with seven young boys, Life Pieces has grown to serve over 1500 boys and young men. Our Human Development System, which allows individuals to harness personal growth and creative expression to navigate through challenging circumstances, has formed the foundation of our program throughout that growth. LPTM understands that all individuals bring their own unique skills, talents, and strengths – what we call their innate creative abilities. We have designed our curriculum to help our Apprentices bring those creative abilities to the surface and use them to change challenges into possibilities.
Population Served and Needs Addressed
We target African American male youth living in Washington, D.C.'s Wards 7 and 8. These locales face a number of social and economic challenges. Data has proven that only 34% students from these neighborhoods complete high school. African American males are particularly at-risk of becoming involved in precarious behaviors such as criminal activity, and/or substance abuse. 100% of our Apprentices qualify for free/reduced-priced lunch.
We aim to constructively counter the unique obstacles experienced by Black males by offering a space where our Apprentices' whole selves -- academic, social, emotional, creative, and otherwise -- can grow and flourish. All of our work is grounded in our proven Human Development System, a philosophical framework that allows individuals to discover and activate their own unique skills, abilities and talents and use them to navigate through challenging circumstances. We have identified three primary needs that drive positive development: Love, Security, and Expression.
· Love: Children learn and grow best when they feel consistent, unwavering love and support from the adults around them. All of our teachers, mentors, and staff are trained to engage each interaction with our Apprentices as an opportunity to demonstrate care and concern through positive language and celebration of positive behaviors and accomplishments. In addition, we fill the specific gap in loving relationships with male role models, as most of our Lead Teachers and Senior Mentors grew up as young men in our program and identify strongly with the needs, challenges, and experiences of our current Apprentices.
· Security: Learning and development are inhibited when children do not feel safe. The violence and insecurity our young men experience make this a primary obstacle to their well-being. In response, we transport Apprentices to and from our site each day to ensure their safety and our programs create a safe and structured environment with clear boundaries, allowing participants to feel comfortable, open, and able to fully engage in our activities.
· Expression: Young men from the communities we serve lack opportunities for positive self-expression. Our unique artistic process fills this need and serves as a therapeutic tool. It allows Apprentices to build confidence in their ability to contribute and create, and it provides a gateway into understanding how life experiences, even the most challenging, can be used as a source of strength. We expose our young men to as many forms of expression as possible – from poetry, dance, and drumming to architecture, engineering, and yoga – to introduce new possibilities and offer each the chance to discover new interests, passions, and talents. This holistic process not only serves as a therapeutic tool, but also as a tool to improve innovative literacy—literacy through the arts. The Life Pieces Artistic Process allows for an interchangeable learning experience, in which Apprentices discover their ability to describe and interpret art, and to apply these skills to understanding written text.