Nonprofit Uses the Performing Arts to Invest in Children

Prince George’s County

by: Lindi Vilakazi Special to the AFRO
/ (Photo by Lindi Vilakazi) /
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The Most-Visions Performing Arts Company-based in Forestville, Md. provides performing arts programs to underserved youth in the county with theater, dance, and a selection of skill sets in the theatre production.

The female cast of “Belle and the Beast.” (Photo by Lindi Vilakazi)

“When I was in college I was teaching in Bethesda and Rockville and places like that, and I just kind of felt like they had so many things for their children and in Prince George’s County there wasn’t enough here that was cost-effective for parents,” CEO and founder Tyronda Boone, who has been teaching the performing arts for 16 years, told the AFRO.

According to Boone, her team developed over time as parents caught wind of her organization and began to give a helping hand. They assisted with program operations, facilitated classes, and pitched ideas for performances and additional programs for the youth.

Most-Vision focuses on training students in various areas of the performing arts (theater, modeling, dance, production, etc.), as well as providing a Black history course, etiquette class (diction, presence), and working to implement computer coding classes. The organization works with children ranging from ages four to 17. Currently, the oldest child in the organization’s programs is 15 years old, and the youngest is five.

Wendashia Ray, a public relations specialist for The MOST-Vision Arts Performance Group, said her daughters, who participate in the organization’s programs, were shy, but have been able to conquer their fear and perform boldly during productions.

“We’re going to incorporate computer coding,” Ray told the AFRO. “We want to do like a whole STEAM thing, so science, technology, arts, and math, so everything. So when they get out and speak, we make sure we teach them diction, we teach them you know, presence, making sure that when they’re out knowing how you’re supposed to address people.”

Most-Visions is a non-profit grassroots organization that does not receive public or private funding. They have promoted their cause thus far through social media, word of mouth, and free events such as the July 1st production of “Belle and the Beast” at the District Heights Municipal Building.

“We received a grant once from the county, a $1,000, but since then we haven’t received anything. So we’ve put together a grants team and we’re going after organizations or going after grants but we have yet to be successful,” Boone said. “I’ve had the 501[c3] since 2004, but really just kind of started flowing like we’re flowing over the last maybe three, four years.”

Boone said she wants to do more events, but the organization needs more revenue to support not only the programs and productions, but also the staff. “We want to get to a point where we’re able to offer stipends to the children for participating, but again that comes with the funding,” Boone said.

The organization is scheduled to host a Youth Entrepreneur Expo on Aug. 12 aimed towards promoting youth businesses, encouraging young people to start their own businesses, and to end the school-to-prison pipeline. “I want the people to come in to really support them to their hustle or their work. It’s worth it because you don’t want to have a hundred people in here and nobody supports them,” Cesha Nelson, a Most-Visions staff member, told the AFRO.

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