Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend the “Speak Life Tour” in Charlotte, North Carolina. Speak Life is a performing/visual arts tour consisting of youth and young adults. In order to be selected for the tour participants must undergo an audition process. The tour was founded in 2013 by Catherine Trotter, who is also the founder of the non-profit organizations “House of New Beginnings” and “New Beginnings Youth Academy”. Both programs are geared towards the professional development of young people.
Catherine came up with the idea for the tour while working with youth under her organization House of New Beginnings; the umbrella organization for the Speak Life Tour. After youth in the program complained about not having an open mic platform for teens Catherine started having open mic mixers for youth in the Baltimore area which eventually led to the creation of the tour. The tour originated in Baltimore and gradually expanded to other states such as DC, Maryland, New York, Philadelphia, and Atlanta. It will soon include Florida, Dallas, Texas, and Virginia Beach.
Founder: Catherine Trotter
Attending the Speak Life Tour was an amazing experience. Some of the performers included dancers, singers, poets, visual artists and rappers. In addition to youth being involved on the tour there were also local members of the Charlotte community who were included. Joan Randall who is the founder of Victorious You, (an organization created to help female victims of domestic abuse) gave a presentation to attendees. Also author and motivational speaker Eddie Love gave advice about overcoming adversity and pursuing your dreams.
Speak Life Tour is an amazing organization, and I think it is a very creative and positive platform for youth to express themselves. With all the turmoil taking place in society today young people need an outlet to shield them from the negativity. If you would like to support the Speak Life Tour you can make a donation here.
Check out my interview with Catherine and see footage of the show below.