Last Friday evening was the BE A KID 90s HOUSE PARTY at RYSE Center in Richmond. Growing up in the 1990’s and completely dating myself, the music was Ace of Base, House of Pain, CeCe Peniston, Right Said Fred, TLC, Spice Girls, Montel Jordan, and Backstreet Boys. My awkwardness and uncoolness continues. May a new generation lead the way with wisdom and courage.
RYSE is the place to be in Richmond. The center provides Education and Justice, Community Health, Youth Organizing, and Media, Arts, and Culture programs for youth. From the website: “After eight years on the Richmond landscape, the RYSE Youth Center is a place where integral parts of a hurting and glorious city come to shed conflict so that they may seek and create solutions.”
My first introduction to RYSE was in 2016 as a Richmond Arts and Culture Commissioner. The organization applied and was awarded a Neighborhood Public Art mini-grant for the play Richmond Renaissance. The production was created by Richmond youth and from the description: “The play is set in AnnaBelle’s, a Black-owned juke joint in 1940’s North Richmond, where history’s Blues and roots of love inspire communal growth. Our multimedia theatrical performance will counter the traditional Richmond narrative of poverty and violence by highlighting the community’s wealthy cultural past as an epicenter for blues, jazz, and zydeco. Please come and support this youth-led ode to the City of Pride and Purpose!” The play was a success and the message delivered.
RYSE needs our support now more than ever.
The BE A KID 90s HOUSE PARTY fundraiser had it all and more! The celebration included an art gallery, cooking demo, dancing, and live performances. Most importantly, the community supports RYSE and its mission. The event was filled with positive energy, love, and future leaders. Thanks Richmond youth for the inspiration and hope!