Our beginning...

It was a reach, but we knew there was one more quarter under the seat of the 2000 green Mercury Cougar. We concluded another hot summer day and we were collecting our quarters, nickels, and dimes so we could secure dinner; a calzone from a local pizza shop. It was a summer of sacrifice that had a number of our family members questioning us on why we were punishing ourselves to work for a local Y program for little compensation. It was in that summer that we found purpose and that purpose lit a flame within that wouldn’t allow us to do anything else, but create a program that would change the lives of the youth in our “Teen Camp.” During this time, the concept of TheGifted Arts was conceived. We used the arts then to teach life skills, confidence, character building, and to just create memorable moments in the lives of our youth. Nine years later, we still receive messages like “Hey Mr. Cj, I just wanted to say thank you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used things you told us and actually applied them to my life.”

We later went on to further our education, explore our careers, and cultivate our passion and thus created TheGifted Arts. Our mission is to inspire our youth to transcend limitations and embrace purpose though the performing arts. We accomplish this goal by guiding our artists on a multi-year journey toward a deeper understanding of their identity through artistic experiences that shape confidence.